Father’s Day is a big day for men in Germany. Called Vatertag in German, it is dated to coincide with Ascension Day, which comes on the fortieth day after Easter Sunday and is always a Thursday. Many take the next Friday off too to create a four-day weekend.
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In Germany, Father’s Day is also called Men’s Day or Gentlemen’s Day. It is a time when many men go on long hikes, often hauling barrels of beer along with them on specially decorated carts. This tradition seems to stem from an old Ascension Day practice of men being hauled to the town square in a cart, whereupon the mayor would give out a prize to the Dad with the greatest number of kids. Later, the consumption of beer, ham, and other foods became a central focus.
Ascension Day is a public holiday in Germany, while Father’s Day technically is not. But as they fall on the very same day, it makes little practical difference.