Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, so we decided to take a look at how fathers are traditionally celebrated and honored in different cultures around the world. While many partake in traditions familiar to us – such as giving cards, gifts, and enjoying a family barbecue – some customs take a different turn. Here are some of our most interesting discoveries:


We’ll start with our current home. In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated in December on the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a beloved ruler who many see as the father of their nation. While celebrating their own fathers and grandfathers, Thai people will also pay respect to the King and wear pink, the King’s color.


Meat is the theme of a Brazilian Father’s Day. Families enjoy a barbecue or they head to a steakhouse to celebrate the men of the family.


Along with celebrating fatherhood and masculinity in Russia, their Father’s Day is also a time to honor and respect their military.


There is some debate on the origins of Father’s Day in France. While some claim it began as a church holiday to honor Saint Joseph, a more cynical crowd claims that the cigarette lighter industry began it to boost their sales. While lighters used to be the traditional Father’s Day gift, today they are not as popular as small drawings or crafts made by children.


Meanwhile, Father’s Day might not be quite as relaxing in Mexico City. Men traditionally participate in a 21K race. It is a huge, city-wide event.


Rather than making cards at school for their dads, Japanese kids will usually make little origami gifts to celebrate this holiday.


Father’s Day is quite the party for the men of Germany. Instead of spending time with their families, men often have a day out together – no girls allowed. They start with something outdoors, like hiking, and end with a lot of drinking. It’s a day when they are free from responsibilities and are able to let loose with their friends.

Have you ever spent Father’s Day abroad? What kind of celebrations did you see or partake in?