IN mid-November each year families in Finland and the other Nordic countries celebrate Father’s Day. Each year, children prepare crafts or buy presents for their fathers and the family as a whole spends a nice day together, celebrating fatherhood. It’s another cherished union of family and retail, a warm-hearted celebration of the nuclear family.
Not so in Germany though. German men celebrate their particular Vatertag on Ascension Day (the Thursday 40 days after Easter). Men celebrate themselves by taking the day off and having male-only events, a temporary leave of absence from their familial duties.
The tradition is that fathers and non-fathers alike all over the country go on “hiking tours”, although the title drinking tour would be more accurate. They start early in the morning, packing all kinds of alcohol and food into handcarts and go rambling. Their usual destinations, indeed if they have one at all, are often traditional points of interest, or their goal might be a tour of local pubs.
Due to copious alcohol use, statistics show a spike in the number of drunken brawls. According to the Federal Office of Statistics, the number of car accidents on that particular day reaches the annual peak, scoring about three times as many accidents as usual. The police and emergency services are put on high alert for Vatertag year after year.
Wouldn’t that kind of a celebration suit Finns as well? Thought it might lead to celebrations of Father’s Day on every single weekend of the year.
Father’s Day is celebrated 8 Nov
Kristin Ay - 6D