About Father's Day
When is Father's Day in Germany?
In Germany, Father's Day ('Vatertag') is celebrated on Ascension Day, which is a public holiday in Germany.
Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after his resurrection on Easter Sunday. It always takes place on a Thursday.
History of Father's Day in Germany
In some regions of Germany, it is also known as men’s day (Männertag) or gentlemen’s day as all males even those who are not Fathers take part in the celebrations.
This tradition dates back to the eighteenth century when prizes (such as the father who had the most children) were awarded to fathers after Ascension Day parades in rural areas. The men would then spend the rest of the day in 'manly' pursuits.
Ascension Day became associated with fathers as this day marked Jesus' return to his father in heaven.
A custom on Father's Day is that men will go out for hikes taking some wagons with them. This might sound like a healthy pastime, but the wagons are loaded with beer, wine and food to 'sustain' the men on their hike. The beer and wine supplies are fully depleted before the hike is over.
Getting drunk seems to be an important part of the celebrations and according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, alcohol-related accidents multiply by three on this day.