Father’s Day in New Zealand in 2024: Date and Traditions

Image credit: Damian Bakarcic

Father’s Day is that one special day every year dedicated to celebrating the fathers in your life. Whether it be your dad, grandpa, stepdad, or a father figure who’s always been there for you, this is your time to say thank you!

Father’s Day in New Zealand is celebrated on the first Sunday of September each year. So, in 2024, Father’s Day will be on the 1rd of September. Kiwis celebrate this day with common traditions of spending quality time with dads, preparing a special meal, being outdoors, and surprising their loved ones with DIY cards!

Father’s Day in New Zealand is different from other countries. So, here’s your guide about this special day and how it’s celebrated in Aotearoa.

All you need to know about Father’s Day in New Zealand

Father’s Day is a special day dedicated to celebrating and honoring fathers all around the world. It’s a day to recognize all that dads do for their children and to show them your love and support for everything!

Father’s Day is celebrated in 111 countries each year, but dates vary. So the majority of the world celebrates on the 18th of June (the US, the UK, Canada, Russia), while some European states in March and Brazil in August.

Although the dates might differ, the customs, celebrations, and gifts are similar across the globe.

In New Zealand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September every year. So this year, in 2024, Father’s Day will be officially on the 1rd of September (the 1st Sunday of September).

You might be wondering why New Zealanders celebrate Father’s Day on a different date from the US (3rd Sunday of June). Well, behind this date is a big reason for the dates being so far apart.

Other cultures around the globe try to coincide Father’s Day with other celebrations, but Kiwis do the opposite. The purpose of setting it on the first Sunday of September is to distance it from other celebrations for commercial purposes. In this way, the retail value of Father’s Day is maximized.

The history of celebrating Father’s Day in New Zealand dates back to the early 20th century. The first records of observing this day trace back to celebrations at St. Matthew Church in Auckland on the 14th of July, 1929. The following year, it was commercialized in advertisements for the very first time.

As of 1931, the spirit of rejoicing spread to other churches around the country. Then, finally, in 1935, Australia officially claimed the first Sunday of September as their Father’s Day, and New Zealand followed in their footsteps.

Father’s Day is the perfect occasion to say thank you to dear old dad for everything he has done for you. There are many traditions and customs associated with this day, which are almost similar everywhere.

One of the greatest traditions is for kids to make hand-made cards and presents for their dads. It’s your opportunity to put a smile on his face, so give him a big hand-made crafty card showing your love!

One thing that dads appreciate the most is their kid’s effort, so let it show in your DIY card. From bright colors to pompoms and even pencil shavings — do it for your dad.

A good idea for presents is to surprise your father with his favorite soundtracks on CDs or Vinyl, gifting the Best Father in The World Cup, a t-shirt with a family photo on it, chocolates, his favorite drink, funky socks, or personalized cufflinks.

Another great tradition valued worldwide and also in New Zealand is spending time together. With the world changing at such a great pace, it is hard to find time for your loved ones.

Father’s Day offers a perfect chance to spend quality time with family. Most families enjoy the day with a special meal such as brunch or barbecue by the beach. Everyone tries to engage in activities that fathers love, like outdoor activities or watching a movie together.

The most valued custom in New Zealand is how Kiwis also recognize their grandfathers, father-in-law, stepdads, and other father figures in their lives. They not only appreciate their fathers but include everyone eligible to make a dad joke!

Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand vs other countries

The date is the major difference in celebrating Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand vs other countries. The most commonly accepted date for celebrating Father’s Day worldwide is the 3rd Sunday of June, following the traditions of the United States.

But, some countries don’t go along with this traditional date. They have their dates for recognizing Father’s Day. These include New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji.

Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand comes on the 1st Sunday of September each year. This is to distance it from other celebrations of the Kiwis to maximize commercialization.

Another take on the difference in the dates is that Australians learned about Father’s Day from the US, and instead of waiting for the 3rd Sunday of June, they adjusted it towards the end of the year in September.

Best Father’s Day gifts

Father’s Day is reserved for making dads feel special and honoring the superhero roles they play in our lives. What better way to show your love for your dad than to give him the best gift ever?

Get a health, nutrition, or personal care (which is the best) present for your father today. Shop at Chemist Warehouse or Healthpost for the best deal.

Here is a list of the best Father’s Day gifts to get your father this time around:

  • A nice meal: This is your chance to cook a steak for your dad and make him a happy customer! Another way around is to organize a brunch or a barbeque party for an intense combination of flavors. Check out The Meat Box for the best NZ meat.
  • Personal care: Men also need to care about themselves. Get your father a nice perfume or a set of supplements to strengthen his health. Chemist Warehouse has it all.
  • Hand-made cards: This is the perfect idea for little ones who don’t have the money to surprise dear dad with something big. Dads love it when their little ones put energy and effort into something. A funky, bright-colored DIY Father’s Day is the best gift you can think of.
  • Stock up on wine or beer: Every dad has a favorite brand of beer or wine that they keep in the upper cupboards. Hit your local winery or store and stock up as a surprise for the father.
  • Travel tour: It depends on the dad if you think he would enjoy traveling solo, with friends, or with family – but all Kiwis are avid fans of traveling and exploring. Book him a ticket to a place he has been wanting to see, and that will be the best Father’s Day gift. For tours, check out Viator or GetYourGuide.
  • Spending time together: Another great Father’s Day gift is spending quality time with family. Many families celebrate the day with a special meal, engaging in outdoor activities, sports, or watching their favorite family show.
  • Fashion accessories: Fathers never say it, but they adore it when someone gifts them any fashion accessories. These include watches, ties, belts, hats, personalized handkerchiefs, or cufflinks. Check out Merchant or even better Hallenstein Brothers.
  • DIY objects: Most Kiwi dads are big on DIY – so if there is a DIY project your father has been wanting to do, help him in any way you can, maybe buy the supplies and do it together. Or, buy them the tools for upgrading their DIY game.
  • Adventure activities: Kiwis and outdoor activities go hand in hand. Organize a fishing trip with mates or any other adventure he has been wanting to do for a long time – surprise him with any adventure activity, and he will be a happy dad! For adventure, snow, and mountain Biking tours, Haka Tours are the best.

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