A fishing pole or a new tie may be traditional Father's Day gifts, but experts say another important gift could be a conversation with the men in your life about taking control of their own health.
Time spent caring for and providing for their families can lead many men to neglect their own health-care needs, said Brandon Leonard, director of strategic initiatives for the Men's Health Network.
“Men need to take responsibility for their own health,” he said, “so that they can be there for birthdays and graduations and weddings, and so that they can enjoy life with their family and with their friends as well.”
Leonard said prevention is the best medicine, and habits developed now will have a huge impact on what happens later in life. As part of Men's Health Week, he encouraged men to get regular doctor check-ups and think about their risk factors for problems such as heart disease, different types of cancer and diabetes.
What do people do?
Father's Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father's Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance.
Father's Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the 'father' figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days and weeks before Father's Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers.
Father's Day is not a federal holiday. Organizations, businesses and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their fathers out for a treat.
Background and symbols
There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father's Day. One of these was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.
A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.
Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother's Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father's Day was held in June was in 1910. Father's Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.