In America, Father’s Day has become synonymous with neckties and not being Mother’s Day.
How did this happen? Well, maybe it’s because we’ve been celebrating it all wrong. Turns out, other countries have fathers too. Other countries also have days. So naturally, we weren’t the only ones to combine the two in celebration. Shocking, I know.
However, what’s truly surprising is that other countries are celebrating it WAAAAAAY better. For instance, Germany, with their version called Vatertag.
Vatertag (Father’s Day) is also known as Mannertag (Man’s Day). Like with their cars, Germans feel the need to remind Americans that Deutschland is superior when it comes to producing masculine awesomeness. They have to be more masculine than us, the word “Man” is actually in their country’s name.
Here in America, we only half-ass our annual Dad day with a BBQ. Germany has manly comfort food too on Vatertag, but it’s also accompanied by booze and lots of it.
Fathers and their sons (teenaged or older) take a hiking trip into the woods and get completely sauced. The best part? The hooch is carried along by the men on a wooden cart. This cart, is traditionally made, by hand, by Father and Son.
So think about that. Father’s Day rolls around and you and your Old Man build a wooden beer truck with your hands and then go out into the woods with bratwurst and get completely hammered. Now that’s a Man’s Day!
Mannertag is SO associated with drinking, that most Men actually take the next day off, effectively giving them a long weekend to recover. Also, traffic accidents go up three-fold on Vatertag. It seems that German Father’s Day is, in reality, a lot like what St. Patrick’s Day is on The Simpsons.
The holiday is believed to be a culmination of two events. First is the start of Lent. Vatertag is held 40 days before Easter and just like Fat Tuesday celebrations, getting as drunk as possible seems like a good way to make it through the next several weeks. The other event seems to be early processions of Ascension Day in Germany.
Back then, men were carted into town, where the mayor would present a ham to the man who fathered the most children. Combine these things and you get German Father’s Day. To repeat: the most virile man gets a damn ham.
In conclusion, while drunk driving and alcoholism are not cool, building something with your father as an excuse to celebrate with him is still a pretty great way to say, “Thanks Dad for bringing me to the dance.”