As in many other countries, today is Muttertag (Mother’s Day) in Germany. Here’s something on its history: In the 1920′s, Germany had the lowest birthrate in Europe, and the declining trend was continuing. This was attributed to women’s early participation in the labor market, when in most countries, they were still homemakers. Influential groups in society (politicians of left and right, churchwomen, feminists) believed that mothers should be honored but could not agree on how to do so – however, all groups strongly agreed on the promotion of the values of motherhood. This resulted in the unanimous adoption of Mother’s Day in 1923. The head of the Association of German Florists cited “the inner conflict of our people and the loosening of the family” as his reason for introducing the holiday. He expected that it would unite the nation (and he also wanted to sell flowers, hah!). In 1925, the Mother’s Day Committee joined the task force and began emphasizing the need to increase the German population by promoting motherhood. The holiday was then seen as a means to encourage women to bear more children, which nationalists saw as a way to rejuvenate the nation. In the WW2 period, this continued and emphasis was put on women being proud mothers – if a woman had 4 or more children, she was given the Mutterkreuz (Mother’s Cross), an award to honor her as a mother. Read more about it here.
Today, Germany, along with Italy and Portugal, has the lowest birth rate in Europe, despite very generous incentives and benefits given to parents in Germany. Read about Maternity Leave and Job Protection here. Also see this article on Parental Allowance and this one on having a baby in Germany.
On this day, mothers are given flowers and presents, are cooked for or taken out to eat, and just generally are being spoiled. Alles Gute zum Muttertag. <3
Read about Father‘s Day here: