Father’s Day has become socially and commercially successful. It is a celebration that many families take seriously as an opportunity to let dad’s know they are loved and valued.
Some countries, including the US and UK, celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but there is a simple explanation why Father’s Day in Australia is a full three months after other countries.
Father’s Day in Australia
Father’s Day started in the US in 1910, but according to The Newcastle Sun newspaper back in 1936: “A new day for the calendar is Father’s Day in September.”
Since then, Australia celebrates Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September each year. It is most welcome, but it is not declared a public holiday.
Australia’s seasons are at different times to those in the northern hemisphere; it coincides with the start of Spring.
We can celebrate in the spring sunshine rather than shivering through a winter’s day in June.
Fathers have entered the New-Age
Father’s roles have been progressively evolving.
New parenting ideas, values, economics, and education have all brought about this change.
Technology has opened up new opportunities to work from home and take care of families. New-age fathers are welcome these days.
When I was growing up, the new-age concept was non-existent. Back in the ’60s, I remember my dad as a loving father, a hardworking man who could be a little strict at times. He was the traditional married breadwinner and disciplinarian in the family.
Back then, most traditional fathers did not openly show affection or emotions. Children did not have many opportunities to get close to their fathers. It was certainly my case.
Most relied on their own experience to navigate through their domestic life.
The new-age father, however, has taken a transformation; he is more domestically independent; he has taken over some of the nurturing responsibilities previously done by women.
My son is a good example, he provides emotional, and discipline support for his children. They have a close relationship more like friends.
New-age fathers can affect their children’s self-esteem, emotional stability and mental health.
Stay-at-home dads are slowly growing in number. It has increased from 1.9 per cent in 1981 to 4.6 per cent in 2016.
The average age of dads with a new born is now 33, with the age rising steady since the 1970s when the average age was 26 years.
They are influencing the next generation, new-age fathers are more reachable, compassionate, and patient.
The Australian Traditions on Father’s Day
Special gifts, breakfasts in bed or father’s favourite restaurant are standard gifts. But in the digital age, our search for the perfect present is often made online.
Many of us turn to Google in the weeks before Father’s Day, with GPS navigation devices, soccer gear, hardware, outdoors supplies and car merchandise the most popular searches.
Some families go out of town so they can experience the beach or the mountainsides on Father’s Day.
Some fathers prefer just strolling in beautiful and well-maintained parks and find a relaxing spot there.
The religious community also takes time to hear mass or attend
The schools in Australia do not fail to remind their students to greet their fathers or father figures on Father’s Day.
Father’s Day a Good day for Retailers
According to the NSW News, Father’s Day favouritism has been uncovered by new research that shows families are spending more on dads than mums.
An analysis of more than 24 million transactions by The Commonwealth Bank has found that Australians spent 15 per cent more in the two-week lead-up to Father’s Day last year compared with Mother’s Day.
Spending for Father’s Day had increased strongly in recent years to $1.58 billion, and the average spend per gift was $50 compared with $47 for mums, it found.
Rohan Ritchie, the bank’s general manager everyday banking and payments, said there could be several factors behind the extra spend on fathers.
“Perhaps we prefer to give mum flowers and chocolates whereas for dad we might go with gadgets or ties, which can cost slightly more,” he said.
The research also found that technology and gadgets was the fastest-growing spending category for Father’s Day, and hardware was less popular than fashion.
Male grooming products have become increasingly popular, as dads become more comfortable looking after their appearance.
Cosmetic and grooming product manufacturers are working hard to penetrate the previously untapped, but sizeable, male market.
The first Sunday of September is the best time to appreciate and honour the works of all fathers, including brothers, uncles, friends, and all the people who act the roles of a father.
Armed with these Father’s Day facts, you now have even more reason to appreciate the day we dedicate to dads. And as you celebrate with food or hand over a gift, don’t forget to tell the dads in your life how you appreciate everything they do.
If you are in Australia, how do you plan to celebrate this special day? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy Father’s Day!