Father’s Day (Dia del Padre) is celebrated in Spain on the 19th of March, the same day as the Feast day of St. Joseph. He is arguably the most famous father in history since he raised Jesus of Nazareth. Not unlike America, families attend church services on this day and gather for a huge family meal, dining out or cooking the feast at home. A Spanish spread of dishes for Father’s Day usually consists of bread, fish, and pasta with the particular featured dish of Fava beans.
In Valencia most stores observe this holiday and close, making towns fairly empty during the day. Once the sun goes down, parades take over the streets with street food and music that goes well into the late hours (shocker). Fireworks light up the sky and parade revelers can be seen wearing traditional Valencian attire. The men wear bright robes or hand-woven shirts with long fringes, while women wear brightly colored jewelry, long dresses and hair ornaments.
Unlike Americans giving their dad a tie, gifts for Dia del Padre are less about monetary value and more about expressing wishes of luck for the future. This may seem like a formal sentiment today, but luck is traditionally considered by Spaniards one of the best things one can have.
A closing sentiment: the first Father’s Day in Spain was just one boy choosing to scrawl down a note to his father that wished him a prosperous future full of luck.