Traditions - General Info Section

Fathers Day - Fete des Peres - Tradition

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Fête des Pères – Fathers Day

Fathers Day - Fête des Pères - is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday in June.

It will therefore take place on June 21, 2020 - June 20, 2021.

French children go out their way to create paper neckties and bow-ties, pencil holders and frames with the cardboard of their cereal boxes!

The older break their piggy bank and visit the many gift shops that offer already-made and expensive gifts.

Fathers Day is not a recent tradition though.

It was already celebrated during the Middle Ages in many Catholic countries, including France.

It was, however, celebrated on March 19, the day of Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and was then a religious celebration!

Written in the sand

A brand of lighters re-invented Fathers Day

This festival, lost overtime, re-emerged in the early 20th century but without any religious connotation.

The Breton brand of lighters called Flaminaire indeed 're-invented' it purely for commercial reasons!

Flaminaire commercialized the first conventional gasoline lighters in 1908.

Lighters were initially luxury objects, but evolved very quickly and were commonly used during WWI.

Consumer society was relaunched after WWII and people discovered the pleasure of offering gifts.

In those times most men smoked, so offering a lighter to a Dad for Fathers Day became a standard practice for children.

Luminaire therefore invested into a large scale advertising campaign, and started the trend.

Fathers Day - a non official celebration

Fathers Day was institutionalized two years after Mother's Day became an official celebration.

However, it has never been formalized, even if it is celebrated each year on the 3rd Sunday in June!

Fathers receive various gifts, but also roses, which are the symbol flower of Father's Day.

There is a code to follow though!

Red roses are offered to a Dad who is alive and white roses are placed on the grave of a deceased Dad...

Photo via Wikimedia Commons: WWI French Gasoline Lighter CC BY-SA 2.5
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