• Sweden's news in English

Two thirds of Swedes celebrate Father's Day

Patrick Reilly · 9 Nov 2014, 13:26

Published: 09 Nov 2014 13:26 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The annual celebration of Father's Day (Fars Dag) falls today (November 9th) and is a staple of the Swedish calendar. It's believed that Swedes imported the custom from America way back in 1931, some 12 years after Mother's Day had begun. 
Initially Father's Day was celebrated in June, as it still is in the UK and USA, but following pressure from businesses it was shifted to November. 
The reasons for the move were simple; it was too close to Mother's Day, traditionally held in May, and it was to give the quiet month of November a boost in trade. 
In a 2012 survey carried out by HUI Research indicated that two thirds of Swedes participated in the occasion. Out of the 1000 people surveyed it was estimated that an average 281 kronor ($38) was spent on a present for Father's Day. 
A third replied they gave no gift at all. 
An ethnologist at the Nordic museum in Stockholm told the Helsingborg Dagbladet newspaper that making a fuss over mother's and father's day peaked during the 50s and 60s. 
"It is a bit surprising that the tradition still exists. You would think that with the debate and everything else in recent years that these days it would be questioned. They certainly don't belong to our major festival days but they are still there," Jonas Egman told the newspaper. 
Egman added that there is still more fanfare over Mother's Day in part due to how the occasion was marketed back in its earliest days. 
"It has to do with the image of the mother (back then) was so central to keeping the family together. In the 1900s the image of the man was that he was the provider and the mother kept things together." 
He said that the fact the occasion was still being celebrated in 2014 was evidence that nuclear families remain strong in Sweden.
Despite this the occasion is regularly criticised for being overly commercial. This hasn't resulted in a spike in sales according to the boss of the Helsingborg branch of the Olséns menswear stores. 
"It's not like it was before. Sales for Father's Day were at their best in the 70s and 80s," Bo Hedin told Helsingborgs Dagbladet. 
Story continues below…
He stated that sales of ties as a present didn't go through the roof in November. 
In the 2012 survey the usual presents were to invite your father out for dinner or give him a book or some chocolate. That concurred with the type of gifts that father's wanted which were dinner, books and wine. 
A quarter of the fathers surveyed said they didn't want any present at all. 
The founder of Father's Day is believed to be an American woman called Sonora Smart Dodd, who died in 1978 aged 96, who suggested the occasion to honour her own father back in 1910.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Patrick Reilly (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

How to make autumnal Swedish apple cake
Photo: SwedishFood.com

This tasty cake is an autumn staple in Swedish cafés. Why not make it yourself!

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available