Picture yourself strolling down the streets of Germany, when you begin to notice groups of men wheeling carts loaded with alcohol and food, drinking and celebrating. Most of us are aware that the beer culture surrounding Germany is deeply rooted in their history, resulting in a certain national respect for the golden brew. This love extends into their Father’s Day traditions, also known as Vatertag or Männertag (men’s day), where their celebrations might look a bit interesting to outsiders.
Father's Day became an official holiday in the United States thanks to a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington. She thought that fathers deserved a day equivalent to Mother's Day. On June 19th, 1910, Washington State became the first state to officially celebrate Father's Day statewide. Here in the United States we are accustomed to spending the day having quality family time, cookouts, and presenting our dads gifts that make them giddy. While American’s celebrate on the third Sunday in June, Germans conduct their festivities on Christian Ascension Day, which is 39 days after Easter and just so happens to be a federal holiday (genius, right?). Although Männertag didn’t become official in Germany until 1934, modern traditions are rooted much deeper.
Historical 18th century Christian Ascension Day celebrations would include a procession into the farmlands, where the father would be wheeled into the town square in a cart and awarded a prize for having the most children . Over the years this tradition evolved and slowly became modernized. The result comes in troves of men wheeling alcohol and snack filled carts on hikes or to parks, greenways, and basically any outdoor area where friends can gather together to toast to manhood.
Although we may not be able to celebrate like the Germans, find the perfect gift to celebrate your father in our Father's Day Gift Ideas collection!