Father’s Day and Chinese dating

Chinese dating often means learning about the different customs that your new love observes. You might be surprised to learn that Father’s Day could be one of these customs.

Father's day

In China, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, which happens to be June 15th this year just like in the US and UK. However, in Mainland China and Hong Kong, the holiday is not readily observed by everyone.  It is usually reserved for expatriates living in the country.  This means it is not a public holiday.

Chinese dating means that you have to respect and honor your sweetheart’s family, so it might be a good idea to remember Father’s Day as a courtesy.  After all, her dad might be from the US just like you.

The current view of Father’s Day and its unofficial observance in June was not always the case in China.  In fact, during the period of WWII, Father’s Day was actually celebrated on August 8th because the government wanted the people to celebrate the soldiers who had died as well as honoring fathers.  This date was selected because it can be shortened to “bā bā” (八八 “eight eight”), which sounds very similar to the informal word for father (爸爸, bàba).

Over the years, the August 8th tradition dropped off in Mainland China, but it has continued in Taiwan.  The customs are pretty similar to the American ones; Dad is taken out for lunch or dinner, given gifts, and celebrated.

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