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History of Mother’s Day in Germany and abroad

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History of Mother's Day in Germany and abroad

Every year on the second Sunday in May Germany (and many other countries) celebrate International Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day. Not yet official holidaythis day is an opportunity for family spend time alone at home together. It has a fascinating history and over time has spawned many different traditions around the world. Let’s see.

The story of Mother’s Day begins with Mother’s Sunday

The idea of ​​celebrating the mother goes back a long time. In Greek and Roman times, festivals were held in honor of the mother goddesses Ray and Cybele. However, the precedent of modern Mother’s Day was an early Christian festival called “Mother’s Sunday”.

Mother’s Day was once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, falling on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It was seen as a time when believers return to their “mother church,” or the main church in the area, for a special service. Over time, Mother’s Day became a more secular holiday, where children gave their mothers flowers or other tokens of gratitude.

Mother’s Day gained more popularity in the 1930s and 1940s after it was merged with American Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day in America

Another kind of Mother’s Day was first conceived in the United States in the early 20th century. After her mother’s death, a woman named Anna Jarvis sought to create Mother’s Day to honor mothers and the sacrifices they make for their children. After a successful campaign in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure that officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day: a day when children honor their mothers.

Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was strongly opposed to the commercialization of Mother’s Day. Her intention for the holiday was a day of personal celebration for her mother, so she felt that the connection with gifts and postcards detached the original purpose of the holiday. She went so far as to completely condemn the holiday and even lobbied the government to remove it from the American calendar.

How is Mother’s Day celebrated in other countries?

Jarvis may not have been a fan, but this commercial iteration of Mother’s Day has spread far and wide, and many countries to this day have their own version of the celebration. Although World Mother’s Day comes in a variety of shapes and forms, flowers and postcards are a common theme.

In Japan, white carnations are given to mothers to symbolize the sweetness and endurance of motherhood. This modern tradition was adopted after World War II to comfort mothers who lost children in the war.

In Ethiopia at the end of the rainy season in early autumn Antrost the festival is dedicated to the mother. At the end of the rainy season, families go to their homes for a big meal and celebration, where girls traditionally bring vegetables and cheese, and boys – meat. Together the family prepares food while singing stories about their families.

In Peru, Mother’s Day is not a one-day event, but a weekly one festival. Families organize meals, trips and parties in honor of their mothers. The cities host art shows and musical performances, and mothers visit museums, exhibitions and festivals throughout the week. Another unique aspect is that people visit the graves of their deceased mothers, grandmothers and other maternal figures to honor them by offering flowers and balloons.

In the Netherlands, Mother’s Day is called “Moderdag“and this is the day when children pamper their mothers throughout the day. The children will prepare breakfast in bed and give the mother a present. Some Dutch schools also help children make gifts for their mothers the day before Moderdag.

In Switzerland, the Salvation Army founded Mother’s Day in 1917, but until the 1920s the holiday was celebrated by only a small number of people. But in the 1930s, the press, florists and confectioners joined forces to give the holiday a big boost. Swiss children usually celebrate Mother’s Day by bringing their mother breakfast in bed, donating flowers or other small trinkets.

Mother’s Day in Germany

In Germany, Mother’s Day (Muterteg) is usually celebrated on the second Sunday of May, unless it is Pentecost (Pfingstsonntag) and then Mother’s Day is celebrated a week earlier, on the first Sunday in May. Grandfathers celebrate their own day – Water tag – later this year.

Although British and American influences are evident in German Mother’s Day, the holiday also has its own German history, dating back to a day of celebration previously held in Germany. state of Thuringia y spring. Families would take a day off to visit relatives and celebrate the renewal of the seasons – and mothers were considered another symbol of life and fertility.

Only in the 1920s, influenced by the official American holiday, did Mother’s Day begin to be celebrated regularly throughout Germany. In 1933, according to the National Socialists, this day acquired special significance Muterteg official holiday and, as part of their propagandistic, idealized view of motherhood, have developed their own traditions around the day, including the presentation of Muterkreuz – a medal for mothers who gave birth up to four or more “Aryan” children.

After 1945, the political sting was lifted on this day, and since then mothers have usually been honored with cards, flowers, and gifts rather than bronze, silver, and gold medals. Mothers often also receive other tokens of gratitude, including phone calls, breakfast in bed, or gourmet meals outside. Some families also carry white flowers to the graves of their grandparents.

Do you celebrate Mother’s Day in your home country? How is this usually indicated? Let us know in the comments below!!

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.

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