Sometimes I am asked: “What is the biggest difference between Germany and Brazil?” Since I am not a friend of Top-10-lists or Best-Of-Selections I usually answer, that there are many differences, some of them bigger than others. And one of the biggest happens in Brazil on every second Sunday of August: Father’s Day.

Dia dos pais – Father’s Day in Brazil

Brazilians are usually very family oriented so it is no wonder that they celebrate Father’s Day together with their family. And Father’s Day is big in Brazil, not quite as big as Mother’s Day, but you see TV ads and special offers for weeks before. On the day itself fathers receive a gift, in some schools the children prepare a song, a card or a small event for the fathers. And the day fathers spend together with their families, eating, drinking, having a nice time. This may not seem like a very special Father’s Day, but for a German it is.

Vatertag – Father’s Day in Germany

The difference between Germany and Brazil is quite obvious when it comes to Father’s Day, because there is no such thing as Father’s Day in Germany, at least not officially. That is true. While Mother’s Day seems to be celebrated everywhere in this world, Father’s Day isn’t. This must’ve bothered German men for a while, because unofficially the holiday for the Ascension of Jesus in May is used as an unofficial “Father’s Day”: Gents’ Day.

On Gent’s Day in Germany men meet in groups of friends to go hiking, making a bicycle trip or just to walk in nature – and to get seriously drunk while doing that. This is true. Groups of men pulling a small cart with a keg (or two) of beer is nothing unusual to see on “Herrentag” (Gent’s Day). And while many men love the excess, others dislike it the same way. So “Gent’s Day” is not celebrated by everyone in Germany, for some people it is just one of the many holidays in the month of May that you enjoy and don’t really care where it comes from.

So in short: there is no comparison to the celebration of fathers between Germany and Brazil. And maybe the same way there is no comparison of fatherhood and family in Brazil and the more individualist and friendship based lifestyles in Germany. Which one to like better requires a very individual answer, I experienced and came to like both. And the difference makes it very obvious how family oriented people in Brazil tend to be. And this is one of the biggest differences to Germany.

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