Father's Day

Father's Day

March 9 became institutionalized, in the obviously secularized Catholic and Protestant West, as Father's Day, even long before March 8 was celebrated as Mother's Day, by extension also becoming Women's Day. Placing the two days at the beginning of spring takes into account the reproductive biology and the warrior culture, present in the collective mind since Antiquity. It is no coincidence that the name of the month derives from Mars, the god of war among the ancient Romans. This is how the custom of Mărțișor (Romanian Celebration – Mărțișorul is a symbol of spring's arrival is like a trinket with a red and white thread) was practiced and still resists the commercial aggression in the North of the country with an obvious masculine touch. The talisman with red and white string was placed by girls and women on the hats of boys and men going off to war when the snows melted and the sleet appeared and the darlings showed signs of restlessness. March 8 appeared as a feminist initiative, later validated by international institutions. Because the validation was related to a socialist initiative, against the backdrop of belligerent anti-communism, the center of gravity of the Mother's Day celebration remained the area of the former socialist countries.

Even if it is not celebrated (the obligatory condition of the celebration is access to the sacred), Father's Day has enough, even more openness towards the religious. There are three points of support for it, worth taking into account when comparing the 9th with the 8th of March. The first distinction, which is imposed almost by itself, is that between the sacred and the profane, in other words between the religious and the secular. If Dragobetele (The celebration of Love in Romania – 24th February), Marțişorul and Mother's Day do not have any charge of religious sacredness, March 9, Father's Day (not the man's, also marked in a profane calendar) has enough elements of religiosity to give it the status of a holiday. First of all, the Orthodox Church officiates memorial services for the 40 martyrs, martyrs of the Christian faith. Secondly, the Father refers directly to the divinity, and that is why Christians invoke him every time they make the sign of the cross and whenever they refer to the Holy Trinity. Thirdly, Father's Day coincides most of the time with the Easter fast, which gives it an extra charge, humility and moderation.

Unfortunately, the idea that men should gulp down 40 glasses of wine or other liquor, that it's not just their day, in which they take revenge for the event of March 8, has taken root in the popular mentality. It's a good thing that the big traders didn't find out about the commercial potential of the holiday, because otherwise they wouldn't have turned away from a substantial profit. Perhaps an initiative of the Orthodox Church, which would precede the commercial manipulation, would at least delay, if it could not stop what is coming with rapid steps towards us, against a background of secularization and globalization, which are more and more frequent in our lives every day day.

N.B. We want the initiative of the Danubius University Publishing House, the Benone Pușca University Library and the Media Department to periodically offer such Newsletters to become a permanent form of cultural presence in the university and public space. We welcome suggestions for future editions of Newsletter.


Prof. George Lateș

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