Today happens to be father's day in Finland, and I would like to know how to express that in Latin. My understanding is that ancient Romans did not have a father's day, so the question is about translation. How should I say "father's day in Latin" and why?

Dies patris is one way to put it, but perhaps dies patrius would be better. What adjective should I use if using one is better than going with the genitive? Should dies be masculine or feminine in this use? Or should I express it in some other way?

  • If you go with the genitive, I would say dies patrium, because it is a day for all fathers. May 28, 2017 at 10:15
  • @BenjaminMcAvoy-Bickford Weirdly enough, in Finnish we have father's day (singular) and mothers' day (plural). I can understand both singular and plural, but perhaps plural is indeed a little more natural.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 28, 2017 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


Holidays were festivals and marked by an adjectival form in the neuter plural. Based on similar festivals, it would probably be patralia. Compare similar examples:

  • Saturnalia, the festival of Saturnus
  • Parentalia, the festival commemorating your ancestors
  • Parilia, founding date of Rome
  • 1
    Ingenious! Presumably for a rite dedicated to a god Patuta?
    – Tom Cotton
    Nov 14, 2016 at 15:16

I like to keep these things snappy and simple. Dies patribus — a day for fathers — expresses the spirit of the occasion and will answer in most situations.

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