Father’s Day is held on the third Sunday of June in the UK, which this year falls on the 19th. Compared to Mothering Sunday, whose roots go back centuries, it’s a new celebration invented to honour fathers, fathers in law and grandfathers. It was introduced by Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, and was first observed in the state of Washington in 1910. It’s now celebrated in over 30 countries around the world.
Sonora was born in 1882, and when she was 16 lost her mother who died giving birth to her sixth child. She had a huge admiration for her father, who was left to bring up the family by himself. When she was 27, Sonora listened to a sermon on Mothering Sunday in 1909 and realised there was no corresponding day to honour fathers. She
approached the Spokane Ministerial Association and the local Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), received their support and launched the first Father’s Day on June 19th. She wanted the event to coincide with her father’s birthday on 5th June, but there was insufficient time to organise it and a later date was chosen.
In France, the day is known as the ‘Fete des Peres’, which has its roots in St Joseph’s Day on March 19. In 1952, though, it was decided to officially recognise Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June in line with other countries.
This year, why not make your father’s day with a long country walk, a bike ride and lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at the Swettenham Arms? We’ve a delicious, varied menu including traditional pub favourites using seasonal food. Booking essential. If you can’t make this Sunday, why not bring your dad along to one of our classic car or classic motorbike evenings, held every week during the summer? See our events page for more details.