Mother’s Day in French households is a special occasion celebrated to honor and appreciate the incredible women who have played a vital role in our lives. In France, Mother’s Day, known as “La Fête des Mères,” holds great significance and is celebrated with immense love and affection. So, let’s wish “Bonne Fête Maman!” to those precious people without whom none of us would be here, and explore the history, traditions, and customs associated with Mother’s Day in France.
The Birth Of Mother’s Day
The origins of modern Mother’s Day in France can be traced back to the early 20th century. The concept was introduced by Napoleon in 1806 to honor mothers of large families, particularly those who had made significant contributions to the nation by raising future soldiers.
The city of Lyon introduced Mother’s Day in 1918 as a tribute to wives and mothers who lost their husbands and sons in World War I, and in 1926 Mother’s Day was formalized by the French government. However, it wasn’t until 1950 (although it was introduced by the Vichy Regime nine years earlier in 1941) that the modern-day celebration of Mother’s Day was officially established. While not a public holiday, the law declared: “Every year, the French Republic pays an official tribute to Mothers during a special day dedicated to celebrating Mother’s Day.”
Mother’s Day Dates And Celebrations
Mother’s Day in France is celebrated on the last Sunday in May unless it coincides with the Christian holiday of Pentecost, in which case it is postponed to the first Sunday in June. This differs from other countries like the USA and Australia, which dedicate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.
This date allows families to come together on the same day and pay tribute to their French mothers, grandmothers, maternal figures, and even mother-in-law. It serves as an opportunity for children to express their love and appreciation through various gestures and activities.
Traditional Gifts And Gestures
The French have a unique way of showing their love and gratitude towards their mothers. Traditional gifts include flowers, particularly red roses, which symbolize love and affection, perfume, and jewelry. Additionally, it is common for children to make handmade gifts and cards, expressing their heartfelt emotions through personalized poems and messages.
Another popular gift is a cake or a dessert called “Le gâteau des mères.” Often, family members gather to enjoy a special meal prepared in honor of the mothers. The day may also involve treating mothers to a leisurely brunch or a delightful afternoon tea at a charming café.
Some Traditional Presents That Say Joyeuse Fête Maman (Happy Mother’s Day)
|Perfume||Parfum||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Parfum[/Speechword]|
|The thing you love||La chose que tu aimes||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]La chose que tu aimes[/Speechword]|
|A pretty dress||Une jolie robe||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Une jolie robe[/Speechword]|
|A greeting card||Une carte de voeux||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Une carte de voeux[/Speechword]|
|A fluffy toy to hug||Un jouet moelleux à câliner||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Un jouet moelleux à câliner[/Speechword]|
|A song about love||Une chanson sur l’amour||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Une chanson sur l’amour[/Speechword]|
|A faithful man||Un homme fidèle||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Un homme fidèle[/Speechword]|
|Breakfast in bed||Un petit-déjeuner au lit||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Un petit-déjeuner au lit[/Speechword]|
|A bunch of flowers||Un bouquet de fleurs||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Un bouquet de fleurs[/Speechword]|
|Body cream||Crème corporelle anti-rides||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Crème corporelle anti-rides[/Speechword]|
Family Gatherings And Outings
For French families, the special day is cherished as a time for family gatherings and outings. Many families take advantage of the pleasant weather in late spring and plan outdoor activities, such as picnics in parks or walks by the seaside. These outings provide an opportunity for quality time with mothers, creating cherished memories together.
Some families organize surprise trips or visits to scenic destinations, allowing mothers to relax and enjoy a day away from their daily responsibilities. It is not uncommon for families to embark on short vacations or visit beautiful gardens, castles, or other places of interest.
Public Celebrations And Philanthropy
Celebrating Mother’s Day extends beyond individual family celebrations, as it is also observed on a national level in French culture. In several cities, public events and parades are organized to honor mothers and highlight their contributions to society. These celebrations often involve musical performances, dance recitals, and art exhibitions.
Mothering Sunday in France also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about maternal health and support philanthropic causes. Various organizations work to raise funds for charities that focus on the well-being of mothers and children. Through donations and volunteering, individuals can contribute to making a positive impact in the lives of less fortunate mothers.
Some French Vocabulary To Use On Mother’s Day
|Happy Mother’s Day||Bonne fête des mères||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Bonne fête des mères[/Speechword]|
|Happy Mother’s Day||Joyeuse fête des mères||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Joyeuse fête des mères[/Speechword]|
|You are the best mother we have||Tu es la meilleure mère que nous ayons||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Tu es la meilleure mère que nous ayons[/Speechword]|
|I have a present for you||J’ai un cadeau pour toi||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]J’ai un cadeau pour toi[/Speechword]|
|I made you a drawing||Je t’ai fait un dessin||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Je t’ai fait un dessin[/Speechword]|
|We thought you were amazing||Nous avons pensé que vous étiez incroyable||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Nous avons pensé que vous étiez incroyable[/Speechword]|
|I love you Mom||Je t’aime Maman||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Je t’aime Maman[/Speechword]|
|Never leave us||Ne nous quitte jamais||[Speechword voice=”French Female” isinline]Ne nous quitte jamais[/Speechword]|
Many French Mothers look forward to a joyous celebration emphasizing the importance of the world’s most wonderful woman and her unwavering love and sacrifice. It is a day to express gratitude, show affection, and create beautiful memories with the women who have shaped our lives. Whether through heartfelt gifts, family gatherings, or philanthropic endeavors, the French honor their mothers in unique and meaningful ways. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us remember to cherish and appreciate the invaluable role that mothers play in our lives, not only in France but across the globe.
Celebrate Mother’s Day In French And Around The World With Ling App
Mother’s Day is celebrated in one form or another in nearly every country on the planet. As well as French, Ling app provides more than 60 languages for you to learn, meaning you will be able to celebrate wherever you are. Download Ling app at Google Play or App Store.