Vatertag – Father’s Day in Germany
Father’s Day in Germany is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. It is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Originally, during the middle Ages, Father’s Day was a religious celebration to honor God the Father.
While in many countries the Father’s Day ritual involves little more than writing a card and giving the gift of a new pair of socks – with breakfast in bed if the father is especially lucky – the Germans have turned it into a true holiday for the country’s men. They are almost expected to get riotously rip-roaring drunk.
Regionally, it is also called men’s day, Männertag, or gentlemen’s day, Herrentag. It is tradition to do a males-only hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine, beer or schnapps and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost.
But actually, not all guys who enjoy Männertag get completely smashed, indeed for a country with a reputation for high alcohol consumption, Germans tend to be exceptionally good at controlling their drink intake. For most, the day is just a good excuse to get together with friends.
These traditions are probably rooted in Christian Ascension Day’s processions to the farmlands, some of which reportedly took on the character of drinking sprees as early as in the 17th century. In the streets of urban regions, especially Berlin, “gentlemen parties” take place since the 19th century, excluding women and going along with alcohol consumption.
Tell Dad, “Alles Gute zum Vatertag.” (Happy Father’s Day!)
Bild von RitaE auf Pixabay