What is date of Father’s Day 2024 in France and how is it celebrated?

The holiday originates from some clever marketing by a Breton lighter company

Only around half of people who celebrate Father’s Day planned to give their dad a present according to a survey
Published Last updated

Father’s Day in France is always celebrated on the third Sunday of June - so this year it is June 16 - and French people often give their dad a present and card. 

While not a bank holiday, it is still a widely recognised celebration, although it is dwindling a little in popularity. 

Unlike Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is celebrated on the same day in France as it is in the UK and the US. 

Adult children will often give their papa wine, a tie, gadgets or a book as well as a card, or take them out for a meal. At maternelle nursery schools and in primary schools, children will make a homemade present, like a decorated mug or card. 

Father’s Day is slowly becoming less popular, despite being very visible due to deals and adverts by businesses. In France in 2022, only 38% of respondents to a YouGov survey said they were going to celebrate Father’s Day, compared to 43% in 2020. 

To make matters worse for dads, it is also less celebrated than Mother’s Day and only half of people said they were planning on giving their father a present. 

Read more: 2024 bank holiday dates in France and how they are celebrated


Though a version of Father’s Day did exist in Antiquity, it was not widely celebrated in France until the director of Flaminaire, a Breton company that sold lighters, had an idea in 1950. 

Flaminaire’s sales would do very well in the lead up to Christmas, but in June, they would sell far fewer lighters. 

The director, Marcel Quercia, devised a marketing slogan for vendors, along the lines of ‘All the dads told us that for Father’s Day, they want a luminaire’ to boost sales. 

The idea caught on and it was officially recognised by the government in 1952, and the date was formalised. 

Renaming Father’s Day

Some schools in France have adopted a new day to replace Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, to the indignation of many. 

Instead, they celebrate the ‘Fête des gens qu’on aime’ (People I Love Day), in order to be more inclusive towards children who do not have a mother or a father or just a generally unusual parental situation. 

The idea has mostly met with opposition online, with opponents saying it is catering to the minority and that fathers and mothers should not miss out as a result.

It seems very likely that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will continue to be celebrated in France.