Father’s Day, for my neighbor Carlos, is not just a reunion with his three daughters, their spouses and his grandchildren. Carlos also takes a quiet moment to remember his own deceased father. The families gather in the backyard of his modest home in the Providencia neighborhood of Guadalajara, where they will enjoy beer and soda, and Carlos and his wife will prepare grilled meat and quesadillas amid laughter and music.
After an exchange of gifts, dads, moms and grandchildren will participate in a sack race or, if they can find the net, a game of badminton. They will exchange hugs, and sometimes sing along to a traditional song from Ana Gabriel or Natalia Lafourcade. The grandchildren usually bring homemade cards (store bought ones are expensive and typically in English). They will say, “Felicidades, abuelito.” The daughters and their husbands will present carefully wrapped, but usually inexpensive gifts: a wallet, tie, aftershave, a popular book or even a small bottle of tequila in a cloth pouch with a gold drawstring.
In previous years, a Father’s Day marathon — Carrera Dia del Padre — took place, though it was canceled this year. The mothers have also warned the grandchildren: “No abrazos!” No hugging grandpa this year. In fact, the daughters will plan their visits so that one group will leave as another arrives, to avoid being crowded together. Everyone will wear face masks.
As in the United States, Father’s Day in Mexico is celebrated the third Sunday in June. School is still in session in Mexico this month; the government in Mexico requires 200 days of attendance as opposed to 180 in the United States. Typically, events have been held at local schools the Monday following Father’s Day, but they have been canceled this year due to the coronavirus.
The neighborhood where we live is fairly upscale, but we have friends who live in working-class areas. There, the celebrations are mixed. In some homes, no father is present because he is “up north” working to earn more income for the family. Perhaps one-fifth of the families have no father at home. Although, over the past three years, more men have returned to Mexico than gone north. A phone call or a Skype session, with everyone, gathered around, will suffice for those who can’t be at home. Among those at home, some listen to the country-style Norteña music or the ballads of Marco Antonio Solis. Likely there will be barbecues instead of grilled meat.
Father’s Day in Mexico is not as popular as Mother’s Day. Only a little more than 50% celebrate Father’s Day, as opposed to 78% for Mother’s Day. Kali Freels, in a blog post titled “Hallmark just doesn’t get it,” laments the limited choices of Father’s Day cards. Statistics from retailers and other sources indicate that only about 75% of families in the United States celebrate Father’s Day.
While many in Mexico still shop at local stores for presents, in the United States most sales for Father’s Day are online. Purchases for Father’s Day presents online have doubled in recent years. In spite of all that, the most purchased gift on both sides of the border is still — wait for it — the necktie. “Thanks, kids. Just what I need in my retirement!”
Every third Sunday of June, Father’s Day is celebrated. Next we will tell you a brief story about its origin.
It was born during the Middle Ages, originally as a Christian celebration dedicated to Joseph, the father of Jesus, taking place on March 19 during the feast of Saint Joseph. This tradition is respected to date in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Italy.
In 1909 in the United States a woman named Sonora Louise made a request for a special day dedicated to parents, since hers had taken care of the education of her and her siblings. Sonora proposed the month of June since it was her father’s month of birth.
In 1924 the idea of implementing an official day to celebrate parents grows, however, it is until 1957 when Senator Chase Smith makes it official in all states. Until 1966 it is declared official every third Sunday in June.
In Mexico, the celebration began to be adopted in the 1950s, becoming an occasion for family reunions and recognizing the father figure.
“Celebrating Father’s Day can have a very expensive price,” health authorities warned on the eve of Father’s Day, which is celebrated in Mexico on Sunday, June 21.
“We cannot continue without following the health instructions with the experiences that are being lived; we cannot close our eyes to reality ”he said.
He asked the population to reflect and not to celebrate Father’s Day since they already have the experiences of Children’s Day and Mother’s Day, where the number of infections shot up, but also this moment is one of the highest of the epidemic.
“The most important thing is common sense, each person must think about their family (…) we are used to celebrating, but we must understand what our reality is now” he said.
“Father’s Day is an opportunity to tell dad how much you appreciate him. New dads, old dads, granddads, dads-in-law, stepdads, serious dads, goofball dads…There must be a million fatherly types out there, and without a doubt, there are at least that many reasons to honor them on Father’s Day”.
From The Mazatlan Post Team Happy Fathers Day
Source: dromomania.com.mx, northamericanproject.com,
The Mazatlan Post