Father’s Day in Spanish-Speaking Countries: Celebrating el Día del Padre
Our fathers—especially the active and nurturing ones—have played an essential role in our social, emotional, and educational development. Through rough-housing, joking, and bonding with dad, we built a stronger sense of self-esteem and learned to properly handle stress as we got older.
The purpose of Father’s Day, of course, is to dedicate a single day of the year to doting on the reliable, loving, and admirable men in our lives—not just our fathers, but our brothers, cousins, friends, and other loved ones who are dads. It’s a day to say “Thank you for being amazing and for making a positive difference!” The sentiment is the same no matter which country you’re in, but learning how to celebrate Father’s Day in Spanish (called el día del padre) is perfect for multilingual families or Spanish-speaking friends.
Origin of Father’s Day in the U.S. & Mexico
The concept of “Father’s Day,” which is now a modern-day complement to Mother’s Day, was originally the result of one woman’s deep admiration and gratitude for her father’s faithful service toward their family. Sonora Smart Dodd was the daughter of an American Civil War hero who not only fought for the betterment of his children’s future but also nurtured them after their mother’s death in 1858.
Sonora learned one day of the newly established Mother’s Day celebration and urged her church to honor fathers as well with their own holiday. On June 19, 1909, the people of Spokane, Washington, where Sonora lived, celebrated the first Father’s Day. It wasn’t until 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge supported the founding of a National Father’s Day and in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday in June to be the permanent date in the U.S.
Soon after Father’s Day began in the U.S., its popularity exploded all over the world, extending through Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Of particular interest is a woman named Carmelita Tostado Gamboa, who inspired the entire country of Mexico to celebrate this holiday at the young age of 19. She got her wish on June 15, 1946, when it was celebrated for the first time. Carmelita loved her father, Don Pedro Tostado Ontiveros, so dearly that she worked tirelessly to convince key members of society to honor fathers with a special annual holiday.
Carmelita and others who believed in her vision sought to strengthen family ties and reinforce the bond between fathers and their children.
How They Celebrate in Latin American Countries
The dates for Father’s Day celebrations vary depending on the country. In places like Spain and Italy it is celebrated on March 19 (for Saint Joseph, Jesus’ father), due to the Christian tradition. But in many other countries, having been influenced by the tradition of the United States, Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June. This year, that date is June 21st. Let’s take a look at the dates on which countries in Latin American celebrate Father’s Day in the year 2020!
(Need to brush up on your Spanish months, days, and dates? Read our post on Dates, Seasons, and Months in Spanish.)
19 de marzo: Spain, Honduras
17 de junio: El Salvador, Guatemala
21 de junio: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, United States, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Belize, Surinam
23 de junio: Nicaragua
26 de julio: Dominican Republic
9 de agosto: Brazil
Inspiring Quotes and Messages in Spanish
The spirit of this holiday is all about telling your father how much he means to you! The best way to do that is to share your feelings with him and tell him how grateful you are for what he’s done for you. Every father loves to know he’s made a positive impact in his child’s life and watching that smile come across his face to read your message is all part of the fun!
Here is a list of meaningful and inspiring Father’s Day quotes and messages that you can copy down in Spanish to make a festive card or graphic for your dad.
¡Feliz día del padre! — Happy Father’s Day!
Un buen padre vale más que una escuela con cien maestros. — A good father is worth more than a school with 100 teachers.
Padre, gracias por compartir conmigo los mejores momentos de mi vida. ¡Eres el mejor padre del mundo! Te quiero papá. — Dad, thanks for sharing the best moments of life with me. You’re the best father in the world! I love you, Dad.
Gracias papá por no decirme cómo vivir. Tú viviste y me enseñaste con tu ejemplo. — Thank you dad for not telling me how to live. You lived and you taught me by your example.
Un padre es alguien que te apoya cuando lloras, que te regaña cuando rompes las reglas, que brilla de orgullo cuando tienes éxito y tiene fe en ti, aun cuando tú no lo hagas. — A father is someone who supports you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, who beams with pride when you’re successful, and has faith in you, even when you don’t.
El mejor legado de un padre a sus hijos es un poco de su tiempo cada día. — A father’s best legacy to his children is a little of his time each day.
Un hermano es un consuelo, un amigo es un tesoro, un padre es ambos. — A brother is a comfort, a friend is a treasure, and a father is both. (Benjamin Franklin quote)
Tener un padre es esencial, pero tener el mejor padre es algo excepcional ¡Felicidades por su día! — Having a dad is essential, but having the best dad is exceptional! Congratulations on your day!
Sé que no siempre es fácil ser padre, yo te he dado mucho trabajo, pero en todas mis caídas he encontrado tus manos para levantarme. ¡Gracias! — I know it hasn’t always been easy to be a father, I’ve given you a lot of work, but in all my downfalls I’ve found your hands to hold me up. Thank you!
Gracias por haberme educado así. Estoy orgulloso(a) de ser como soy y eso te lo debo a ti. — Thank you for raising me as you did. I’m proud to be who I am and I owe that to you.
Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day in Spanish
The perfect Father’s Day will include activities where you can celebrate your dad and interact with him in fun ways. Here are some ideas to consider for el dia del padre this year!
- Desayuno para papá (make breakfast for dad)
- Un churrasco (have a barbecue)
- Tarjeta gigante (make a giant card)
- Juegos de mesa (play board games)
- Cocinar juntos (cook together)
- Prepara un día sin tecnología (plan a day without technology)
- Picnic en familia (have a family picnic)
- Partido de fútbol (play soccer)
- Sesión fotográfica (do a photo session)
- Caza del tesoro (make a treasure hunt)
Los regalos perfectos para tu padre
Which gifts will you be making or giving to your dad? If you haven’t any ideas yet, check out some of these!
- Un libro (a book)
- Un agua de colonia (cologne)
- Rasuradora (shaver)
- Cinturón (belt)
- Reloj (watch)
- Billetera (wallet)
- Cámara de fotos (camera)
- Botella de vino (bottle of wine)
- Una fotografía especial (a special picture)
- Una taza Feliz Día del Padre (a Happy Father’s Day mug)
- Llavero con fotografía familiar (Keychain with a family photo)
- Cojín corazón Feliz Día del Padre (Happy Father’s Day heart pillow)
- Cargador inalámbrico (wireless charger)
Talk About Father’s Day in Spanish
This holiday for dads is a deeply meaningful, joyous day where fathers are celebrated for their heartfelt dedication to their children. Exploring Father’s Day in Spanish is a fantastic way to honor a Spanish-speaking dad you may know!
Would you like to practice your Spanish skills with a native speaker from Guatemala? Our teachers at Homeschool Spanish Academy would love to talk to you about how you plan to celebrate Father’s Day! Go the extra mile and use your conversational skills to learn all about how your teacher celebrates Father’s Day in Latin America.
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