Monday, March 19, 2007

Buona Festa del Papà!

Happy Father's Day!

My girls made these boxes for my husband today...the smaller one was painted by my 4-year-old, who was more into the process than the product...and ended up with more paint on her body than the box. The larger box was painted by my 7-year-old, who found it difficult to focus on the fact that Easter doesn't factor into Father's Day (that's a fluffy yellow chick glued to the top).

You may be wondering why I'm posting about Father's Day in's rainy, windy and cold here (a bad
laundry day)--definitely not time to break out the grills for a summer barbeque. It's also Monday, when all (or most) of the Italian papàs go to work.

So why is today Father's Day in Italy? Being a Catholic country, Italy recognizes a different saint for almost every day of the year. And March 19 is the day they honor San Guiseppe, a.k.a. Saint Joseph--Jesus' legal father-here-on-earth.

It makes sense to have Father's Day on Saint Joseph's day--I get the connection. But why they picked March 19 to honor St. Joseph, I'm not sure...obviously no one thought about making Father's Day convenient, did they? Spain and Portugal also celebrate Father's Day on March 19, but the vast majority of the world's nations celebrate it in the
summer. Some exceptions are Australia and New Zealand (September), and a few freezing cold countries who celebrate it in winter (including Russia who celebrates in February...not many barbeques going on there, I'd bet.)

I like having Father's Day on a Sunday--it's more relaxed, most people don't work, and you have time to really celebrate. And I especially love celebrating it in summer--grilling out, shorts and t-shirts, etc.

Maybe I'll write to the Pope and ask if he couldn't officially trade St. Joseph's day with some other saint's day in summer. For example, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's day is August 20. Ever heard of him? Neither have I. Apparently, he's the patron saint of bees, beekeepers, candlemakers and wax-melters. I doubt he'd mind trading places with St. Joseph. And I don't think the bees could care less.

Or maybe there's a patron saint of barbeques? I'll have to look into that...

But in the meantime, Buona Festa del Papà!

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