Mother’s Day – Honoring Mothers on Any Day Even Before the Second Sunday of May

flowers for mom in germanyIn Germany, a Radolfzell advertising agency (Werbeagentur Radolfzell) and a florist may promote the honoring of mothers even before the second Sunday of May. Actually before Mother’s Day became an official event in Germany in 1923. German flower shops were already encouraging people to constantly show their love and appreciation for mothers even if there is no special occasion.

Anna Jarvis Wanted Mother’s Day to be More Personal and Less Commercialized

That was how American social activist Anna Jarvis , the prime mover of the Mother’s Day observation wanted it to be. She specifically stated that the possessive term Mother’s being used to designate a day of honoring a mom should be singular and personal for every family. She strongly opposed the commercialism that prevailed after the US Congress declared the second Sunday as the official Mother’s Day date.

mother's day greeting in aprilAlthough Ms. Jarvis even worked toward the revocation of the official Mother’s Day date; she failed to do so in the US. Apparently, the efforts of advertising arms of businesses, such as the candy and chocolate manufacturers, greeting card makers, bake shops and florists had helped establish the same day as the official modern-day annual observation of the event in several countries across the world.

Countries that Do Not Observe Mother’s Day on Every Second Sunday of May

Yet some jurisdictions in Europe adopted changes to make Mother’s Day coincide with other important annual commemorative events.

Around 19 countries in Europe, particularly those located in the Eastern Bloc had adopted changes that made the nation’s Mother’s Day observance coincide with International Women’s Day on every March 08 of the year. Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Belarus, Kosovo, Albania, Armenia, Montenegro, Moldova and North Macedonia are examples of the nations that prefer to celebrate Mother’s Day on a different date.

Presumably the refusal to use the date was in connection with the stigma of the German Nazi government’s use of the event in launching the “perfect Aryan race” propaganda during their occupation. In 1933, ten years after the second Sunday of May was recognized as the official day of honoring mothers, Nazi authorities decided to use the event in launching campaigns that encouraged German mothers deemed as racially valuable to produce more babies.

Mother’s Day observance in the UK and Ireland was also changed to make it part of the Lenten Week’s Mothering Sunday in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is why Mother’s Day in the UK and Ireland is observed on every Sunday of the 4th Lenten Week.

France maintains its traditional date of observing Mother’s Day (Fête des Mères) every last Sunday of May or in some instances, on the first Sunday of June. The Mother’s Day tradition is actually integrated as part of the nation’s calendar. The action was in line with former French President Vincent Auriol’s policy of increasing the fertility rate to reverse the country’s declining population.