El Dia del Padre - Spanish Vocabulary for Father's Day

El Dia del Padre - Spanish Vocabulary for Father's Day
Page content

Origins and Traditions

In Spain and Portugal, El Dia del Padre is celebrated on March 19. The religious background is that the date is the name day of Joseph, or San Jose, the father of Christ.

Many Latin American countries follow the American tradition of celebrating Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. That date originates with Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon on the radio in 1908, she thought that fathers deserved the same honor. On June 19, 1910, she established the tradition, but it took a long time for the celebration to catch on. President Calvin Coolidge backed a bill in 1924 and Father’s Day became an official holiday in the United States. The date was adopted by such Latin American countries as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Paraguay, among many others.

El dia del padre - Father’s Day

querido papa - dear dad

te quiero - I love you

El padre - father

El tio - uncle

El abuelo - grandfather

El hijo - son

La hija - daughter

La nieta - granddaughter

El nieto - grandson

Los padres - parents

celebrar - to celebrate

El regalo - gift

El ramo de flores - bunch of flowers

La tarjeta - card

La sorpresa - surprise

El carino - love

El amor - love

El beso - kiss

El abrazo - hug

El dia festivo - holiday

La cena - dinner

La vela - candle

La tradicion - tradition

religioso - religious

La iglesia - church

La poema - poem

El protector - protector

La familia - family

El bien estar - well being

vigilar - to watch

Ganar la vida - to make a living

querer - to love

padre no hay mas que uno! - you have only one father


Along with fathers, uncles and grandfathers are honored and praised on Father’s Day. The idea is that they are all protectors of the family, (at least theoretically) earn the living and watch over the family’s wellbeing. Celebrations of Father’s Day not only include the children, but also the mothers. The entire family makes it a special day for Daddy, giving him cards, flowers and gifts. Many restaurants in Spain serve a special Father’s Day menu in the evening.

Sweets and cakes play an important role, often decorated with icing depicting good wishes or even short poems. Enjoy the last line from an anonymous Father’s Day poem:

Quiereme y dimelo

Me gusta oirtelo decir!

Love me and tell me so,

I like to hear you say it!