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Father's Day in the United Kingdom

Father's Day is held on the third Sunday of June in the United Kingdom. It is a day to honor fathers and father figures, such as grandfathers and fathers-in-law. Many people make a special effort to visit their fathers or to send them a card or gifts.

Is Father's Day a Public Holiday?

Father's Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, June 16, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United Kingdom.

A father lovingly playing with his baby. Black and white image slightly sepia toned.
Fathers are appreciated on Father's Day.
Fathers are appreciated on Father's Day.
©iStockphoto.com/ veesvision

What Do People Do?

On Father's Day, many people make a special effort to visit their father. They often take or send cards and gifts. Common Father's Day gifts are ties, socks, underwear, sweaters, slippers and other items of clothing. Other people give tools for household maintenance or garden work, luxury food items or drinks.

Many Father's Day gifts have slogans such as "The World's Best Dad", "For My Father" or just a simple "Dad" on them. The increase in print-on-demand services offered by photo processing companies has made personalized gifts even more popular for Father's Day. Photographs of children can be printed on desk calendars, mugs, T-shirts, mouse mats, bags and even ties. Many fathers are expected to take these to the office to remind them of their families while they are working.

In the days and weeks before Father's Day, many schools, Sunday schools and children's organizations help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or gift for their father. Mothers and other family members may help children to make personalized gifts, such as calendars with drawings made by the children.

Some families celebrate Father's Day by planning an outing or weekend trip, perhaps just for the male members of the family. This may be a simple walk in the countryside or a whole planned "experience". Popular Father's Day experiences include driving a fire engine, rally car, tank or even airplane or taking a golf, football or cricket lesson with a celebrity coach. Other families organize a special meal at home or in a pub or restaurant. A common Father's Day meal is a traditional roast dinner with meat, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables, which can be eaten in a pub and accompanied by pints of ale or lager.

Public Life

Father's Day is not a bank holiday. In terms of public life, it is a normal Sunday. Public transport systems run to their normal timetables. Pubs and restaurants may be busy, as people take their fathers out for a meal to celebrate.

Background

There are some suggestions that the idea of Father's Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the Sun as the father of the universe. Since the summer solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father's Day, some people see a link between the two.

The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. There, a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother's Day celebrations to plan a day to honor fathers. Father's Day has been celebrated in June since 1910 in the USA. The celebrations in the United Kingdom are thought to have been inspired by the American custom of Father's Day. This is in contrast to Mother's Day, which has a very different history in the United States and the United Kingdom.

About Father's Day in other countries

Read more about Father's Day.

Father's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunJun 20Father's DayObservance 
2011SunJun 19Father's DayObservance 
2012SunJun 17Father's DayObservance 
2013SunJun 16Father's DayObservance 
2014SunJun 15Father's DayObservance 
2015SunJun 21Father's DayObservance 
2016SunJun 19Father's DayObservance 
2017SunJun 18Father's DayObservance 
2018SunJun 17Father's DayObservance 
2019SunJun 16Father's DayObservance 
2020SunJun 21Father's DayObservance 

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