When I was an undergraduate student in Taiwan, I was surprised to learn that Father’s Day in Taiwan is actually on the 8th of August.
The number eight is pronounced as bā in Mandarin Chinese. 8/8 is pronounced bā – bā, close to the pronunciation of father – 爸爸 bàba.
Though Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June in the mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, as in the USA and Britain, in Taiwan, Father’s Day on the 8th of August can be traced back to the end of the Second World War in China and is linked with Chinese patriotism.
Tens of thousands of lives were lost during the second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945. To remember the sacrifice of the Chinese men who fought bitterly during the War of Resistance, after the war ended, in Shanghai, Chinese gentry proposed August 8 as Father’s Day and it was accepted.
Since then, 8th August is celebrated as Father’s Day in Taiwan, Republic of China.
While writing this post, I came across a book by Rana Mitter in Richard Overy’s review in the Guardian: China’s War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival. This book seems substantial and is worth a read.