Father's Day dwarfed by Mother's Day in China

Updated: 2011-06-19 10:09
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TAIYUAN -- Kids forget! Fathers don't care! Shops ignore it! Father's Day in China is not enjoying the same level of attention as Mother's day.

"On Father's Day, I usually just send a text message to my father. I don't call him because I feel it will be awkward to say 'Happy Father's Day' to him," said Wu Ruihua, a 30-year-old woman in Taiyuan, provincial capital of Shanxi.

Father's Day, a day to honor fathers and fatherhood, is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and this year it falls on June 19.

However, on Mother's Day, Wu said she would not only call her mother, but also buy a bunch of flowers or go shopping with her mother and buy her some presents.

Wang Hongyue, an employee with a Beijing-based bank, said he had only offered three phone calls to his father in the past nine years since he first knew about Father's Day. "I often forgot about the festival when I was busy!"

Shopping malls in Taiyuan have shown little enthusiasm about Father's Day, compared with the fierce promotion campaigns on Mother's Day.

A shoe salesman said that they did not pay much attention to Father's day, and their shop had never organized promotions on that day.

Xiao Fang, a professor of Chinese folklores at Beijing Normal University, said Father's Day is dwarfed by Mother's Day partly because Chinese fathers are usually strict and communicate with their children less than mothers.

Another factor is that mothers play a more significant role in nurturing children, so their children usually feel closer to their mother, said Xiao.