Celebrating Fathers Day in Bolivia


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Español Fathers Day (Dia del Padre) in Bolivia is celebrated on March 19th each year. It coincides with St. Joseph’s Day (Dia de San José) as Bolivia is primarily a Catholic country and many of its holidays follow the church calendar.

My dad is Bolivian. Personally I think he should get to celebrate twice a year, in March and on U.S. Fathers Day in June, but we usually celebrate according to which country we are living in.

Traditionally families take dads out to eat, or cook their favorite meals, or give them gifts they’ll probably never use. The day is celebrated in quite the same way as in other countries. Cards and cakes and silk ties abound, the Ministry of Labor declares a half day of “tolerance”...

Huh? OK, well here in Bolivia this basically means you have to forgive dads if they are late to work – up to a half day late! In other words, dads can take a half day off and not get in trouble – they don’t need to ask first, they don’t need permission, they don’t have to call in and tell anyone they’ll be late, they don’t even have to call in and pretend to be cough...cough... sick, they just simply don’t show up! Companies are legally bound to be “tolerant” of this “truancy”.

Sometimes in Santa Cruz, if Fathers Day falls near a weekend extended families will get together to enjoy the day, maybe barbeque (yes, yet another excuse to char some meat). The “parrillada” is so Santa Cruz. I think that’s why we have so few vegetarian restaurants here … but I digress... Happy Bolivian Father’s Day!!



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