‘Feliz Dia de la Madre’.
Just last Sunday I was surprised to see some Facebook posts passing by in Spanish for Happy Mother’s Day.
It made me confused and worried I would forget my mother-in-law’s Mother’s Day in Belgium which is on the 2nd Sunday of May.
Not my own mother however. Her Mother’s Day is on August 15th.
Since we moved to Spain 4 years ago I only went back to Belgium once and haven’t seen my mother now in 2,5 years.
I do miss my parents but due to circumstances we were not able to visit them for such a long time. We phone each other often but it is not the same as meeting each other in real life.
Therefore, putting our Mother in the spotlights for one day is nothing compared to what we receive(d) in return.
Being such a small country Belgium has two different days to celebrate our mothers, it depends where you live.
This made me wonder: is the day of the 2nd Sunday of May also being celebrated on other parts of the world? And what about August 15th? If not, when?
So, I did some research.
2nd Sunday of May: United States
The modern history of Mother’s Day begins in the United States.
Anne Jarvis started a campaign in 1905 to make it a recognized holiday.
That was the year her mother Ann Jarvis, who was a peace activist died. She cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil war and she created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
During the following years her holiday has been adopted by most of the countries.
To name a few: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands …
15th of August: Antwerp (Belgium)
In Antwerp (Belgium) however, this day was not yet known in 1913 when the painter and Alderman from Antwerp, Frans Van Kuyk established August the 15th (Assumption day) as classical Mother’s Day.
On August the 15th is the Assumption of Mary Day, who is the patroness of the city since 1124.
That is why I celebrate Mother’s Day on August the 15th while my husband, who is from another province in Belgium celebrates it on the 2nd Sunday of May.
The only country that uses this date also is Costa Rica.
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