Father’s Day 2021 took place on June 20th this year, so whenever you read this, we hope you didn’t forget and celebrated in style with your family. How did you celebrate this year; a family meal out? Did you treat your dad to a pint down the pub, perhaps in a beer garden? Or maybe gave him the day off and handle the BBQ for him.
But how do different countries celebrate Father’s Day? In this article, we will look at the different ways cultures around the world mark this special occasion and explore what it means about the need to localise your marketing efforts in a globalised economy.
Mexico – Carrera del Dia del Padre
Mexico, the largest Spanish speaking country in North America, has an interesting and unique way to celebrate Father’s Day. Carrera del Dia del Padre is a 21-kilometre race held on a circuit around Mexico City on La Fête des Pères – Father’s Day.
The race takes place on the third Sunday of June. The 2020 edition of the race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the 40th edition of the race was held in Bosque de Tlalpan, Mexico City.
Germany – Ascension Day
Ascension Day is a Christian festival celebrated around the world. It’s a public holiday in Germany, marking the belief in Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Known as Himmelfahrt in Germany, Ascension Day has evolved markedly from its beginnings as a pious affair. It is also celebrated as Father’s Day and Men’s Day in some parts of Germany.
Ascension Day to some Germans has become little more than an opportunity to meet with male friends and enjoy a drink.
Father’s Day, Vatertag, or Men’s Day, Männertag, originated in the 18th century. As the cultural importance of religion has declined in the country, the celebration has increasingly become about celebrating supposedly manly activities, including hiking and enjoying a meal of ham and beer in the countryside.
Russia – Defender of Fatherland
In Russia, Defender of the Fatherland Day takes place on February 23rd. It’s essentially a military parade to commemorate the creation of the Red Army. A parade is held to honour the armed forces, but on the same day, women also pay tribute to the men in their lives, including their fathers.
The day for many who observe it has transformed into a way to celebrate fathers, mainly through family gatherings and the bestowing of gifts.
France – cigarette lighters
France owes some of its Father’s Day celebrations to a company that sold cigarette lighters. The holiday came into being in 1949, as Flaminaire, a cigarette lighter manufacturer launched an advertising campaign to sell more lighters.
They were inspired by American menswear retailers commercialising Father’s Day to market their clothes. The slogan used in their well-known advertising campaign went “Our fathers told us, for Father’s Day, they all want a Flaminaire”. From 1952, the holiday became official.
Now Father’s Day celebrations in France are much the same as those in America and Western Europe, with cards and gifts exchanged.
Never assume cultural cues are shared
As you will have been reminded by reading this article, it’s never a good idea to presume that different countries share the same cultural cues, even when they are close geographically.
Our expert translators know this better than anyone. Our talented team of translators are native speakers of the markets your organisation is doing business in. They have an intimate understanding not just of the language of your target audience, but the culture to which they belong, which informs their day-to-day lives and language usage, festivities and beliefs.
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