Father's Day 2016 in Australia and New Zealand

Father's Day 2016 in Australia and New ZealandFather's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 (St. Joseph's Day) since the Middle Ages. This celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America, where March 19 is often still used for it, though many countries in Europe and the Americas have adopted the US date which is the third Sunday of June. In the US, Father's Day has been celebrated since the early 20th century.

In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, which is the first Sunday of Spring in Australia, and is not a public holiday. YMCA Victoria continues the tradition of honouring the role fathers and father figures play in parenting through the annual awarding of Local Community Father of the Year in 32 municipalities in Victoria. The Father's Day Council of Victoria annually recognises fathers in the Father of the Year Award.

In New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and it is not a public holiday. Fathers' Day seems to have been first observed at St Matthew's Church, Auckland on 14 July 1929 and first appeared in commercial advertising the following year.[58] By 1931 other churches had adopted the day. In 1935 much of Australia moved to mark the day at the beginning of September and New Zealand followed, with a Wellington advert in 1937, a Christchurch Salvation Army service in 1938 and in Auckland from 1939.

A customary day for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe is known to date back to at least the Middle Ages, and it is observed on 19 March, as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini ("Nourisher of the Lord") in Catholicism and "the putative father of Jesus" in southern European tradition. This celebration was brought to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese, and in Latin America, Father's Day is still celebrated on 19 March.

The Catholic church actively supported the custom of a celebration of fatherhood on St. Joseph's day from either the last years of the 14th century or from the early 15th century, apparently on the initiative of the Franciscans. In the Coptic Church, the celebration of fatherhood is also observed on St Joseph's Day, but the Copts observe this celebration on July 20. This Coptic celebration may date back to the fifth century.

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