Profusion Publishers - Independent British Publishing House, based in London

Mother's Day - Eastern European Style

MOTHER’S DAY in Romania is celebrated on International Women’s Day, on the 8th of March. As a festival, its roots go so deep in the Romanian psyche that the majority of people forget – or simply never knew – that this celebration was imported directly from Soviet Russia after 1947 (the year of the declaration of the Romanian Popular Republic). It became the communist regime’s flagship for women’s issues, and its propinquity to the traditional celebrations of 1st of March meant that its official status could be underlined by the existing popular tradition.

So the 8th of March became a day when small gifts and flowers could be lavished on women, especially mothers. Local authorities and businesses around the country compete to make women special offers, from free coffees to shopping discounts, and even official pardons for minor motoring offences. In spite of the Soviet overtones, Romanians took wholeheartedly to the 8th of March as Mother’s and Women’s Day, and any attempt to change the date would probably be futile.