Mother's Day and Muttertag
The history of mom's holiday in Germany
Although the idea of honoring mothers on a special day was known as far back as ancient Greece, today Mother's Day is celebrated in many countries, in many different ways, and on different dates.
In Austria, Germany, and Switzerland Muttertag is observed on the second Sunday in May, just as in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, and many other countries. During the First World War, Switzerland was one the first European countries to introduce Mother's Day (in 1917). Germany's first Muttertag observance took place in 1922, Austria's in 1926 (or 1924, depending on the source).
After World War II the German holiday became a more unofficial one that took on the cards-and-flowers elements of the U.S. Mother's Day. In Germany, if Mother's Day happens to fall on Pfingstsonntag (Pentecost), the holiday is moved to the first Sunday in May.
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Last updated April 26, 2005