Do you know how Father’s Day celebrate in Germany? If Father’s day in most countries is to sleep in, lounge with family, then in Germany it is a little different. Over there, the Father’s Day (Vatertag in Germany), also known as Men’s Day, or Ascension Day is a general holiday where men dress up and drink all the German beer they can handle. The best part is any man can join, father or not, in this joint manly celebration.
When is Father’s Day in Germany?
Celebrated on the fifth day of May, rather than Sunday, the Vatertag coincides with Ascension Day, the German equivalent of the Ascension, marking Jesus’ ascension to heaven and return to the Holy Father.
It also means that although Father’s Day is not an official holiday, it is always celebrated on one day. In 2021, Ascension Day/German Father’s Day falls on May 13th.
What’s Special About your Father’s Day in Germany?
How Father’s Day celebrate in Germany? Is it any special from other countries?
Maybe you don’t know, Father’s Day in Germany was more than gifting a tie. This holiday is everyone’s day off and an opportunity for men to act like guys.
A custom on Father’s Day that men would go hiking and bring some wagons with them. This may sound like a sane pastime, but the wagons are filled with beer, wine and food to sustain the men on their hikes. The supply of beer and wine are fully depleted before the hike ends.
Getting drunk appears to be an important part of the celebration, and according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, related accidents will multiply by three on this day.
How Father’s Day Celebrate in Germany | History of Father’s Day in Germany
But why wagon? And why beer? In the Middle Ages in some farming communities, fathers were loaded in a wagon and dragged to the center of the village on Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day). The father who had the most children is awarded the Ham. Then there was beer and celebration. Because it’s Germany.
As time passed, the ham faded away, but the Fathers celebrating with wagons and beer continued.
In the 1800s, industrialization led to the development of a new “Entertainment Society” in Germany among the bourgeoisie. Basically, the middle and super class gew and there were people who no longer had to work 7 days a week to survive. So they came up with ways to take some time off. The Naturerfahrung tradition for men or Nature Walks Men’s has been in development. Men’s club would gather on Sundays and they would drink, go for a walk together.
And by the 1870s, these Herrenparties were quite common. The men would gather to drink, smoke, talk about women and introduce the bachelors about “manly life”.
World War II dominated things a bit, and by the 70s and 80s, weekly drinking parties were considered a bit outdated. The focus of the drink shifted to just Father’s Day.
Father’s Day in Germany Today
Today, German men are very creative on Father’s Day. The wooden wagons are filled with items and decorations. The men wander in groups with their wagons, drink and celebrate together. Some attach bicycle belts to walking sticks so you can hear them coming.
Some groups of men even travel by bike. No wonder the Ascension Day is also known as Crash Day in Germany.
You will see men celebrating Herrentag in Germany in parks, restaurants and Bier Gartens. And if you are there, and you are a man, you can join in the fun. Because here, on Father’s Day, open to any man who wants to show his loutish, caveman side.
Popular Activities for Father’s Day in Germany
Here’re some of the most popular activities of Father’s Day in Germany:
- Pub tour to your favorite bars.
- Immerse in the drinks, food and atmosphere of many Biergartens in Germany.
- Take a group bike ride with Bollerwagen (hand wagon) wine or on a beer bike.
- Reserve a seat in the pub for your group to drink and sing your way through the day.
- Gather in the park with games like boules, stoves and kegs, schnaps and mixers.
Whatever happens during the day, alcohol can be involved. Männertag’s reputation as a drinking day has made it unpopular in some parts of the public and – understandable – with the police.
For those who want to opt out of the celebrations, it’s still a day off in May offering a chance to enjoy the nice weather. Stay away from bars, away from itinerant groups of men and enjoy your stay.
How Father’s Day Celebrate in Germany in Quarantine?
This year’s Father’s Day won’t look like any Father’s Day before, due to COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate, whether you’re separated from your dad or in your own home. Here are a few ideas to make his day special and show him how much you love him.
Cook or Order a Delicious Meal!
If you normally go to dinner on Father’s Day, you can still have a similar experience. Order his favorite meal at his favorite restaurant and get it delivered. If you live close enough, bring it in and leave it on his front porch or sit outside and enjoy a meal, picnic style.
Watch Iconic Sporting Events
Whatever sport your dad loves, watch a favorite match together. Watch sports sites, like ESPN, or go to YouTube to see what’s been uploaded. You can watch it together while hanging out online or watch separately and talk later. Add a beer and a few drinks. Surely it will be a very memorable Father’s Day.
Hang Out Online
A phone call is always great, but you can chat using Skype, Zoom or FaceTime for a more personal chat. Your dad wants to see your smiling face and you don’t need to plan anything special.
Send a Gift
If you want to honor your father, the gift is of course appreciated. Something as simple as an expected call. Also, you can buy mugs, T-shirts or something else from our Gift for dad collection. Better yet, buy your dad a German beer to fit the holiday spirit.
Above I’ve told you how Father’s Day celebrate in Germany. It’s so interesting, right? Father’s Day, whenever celebrated around the world, is an opportunity to recognize fathers for their contributions to family and society. So on this special day, send him a gift, make a video call or just wish “Happy Father’s Day”.