Muttertag: Mother's Day Terms and Expressions in German

By Bright Hub Education Writer

Here is the vocabulary needed to greet and praise your mother in German. Learn about the history and German customs for Muttertag and enjoy a short poem.

Be Prepared to Honor Your Mother

Muttertag or Mother's Day is celebrated in Germany on the second Sunday of May. Although Mother's Day is commemorated in many countries around the world, the dates vary. Spain celebrates Mother's Day on the first Sunday in May, Mexico always on the 10th of May and Argentine in October.

Words and phrases

Die Mutter - mother

Die Kinder - children

Die Liebe - love

Die Blume - flower

Der Blumenstrauss - bunch of flowers

Ich hab dich lieb - I love you

Das Herz - heart

Das Gefuehl - sentiment

Der Kuss - kiss

Die Umarmung - hug

Das Gedicht - poem

Das Geschenk - gift

Der Sonntag - Sunday

Der Mai - May

Der Feiertag - bank holiday

Die Feier - celebration

Das Fruehstueck - breakfast

im Bett - in bed

Brief History

Although the ancient Greeks and Romans already dedicated gods and festivities to mothers, Mother's Day as we celebrate it today originated in the 20th century and, more generally, the women's movements in America and England. The 'founder' of Mother's Day is Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia. On May 9, 1907, she attended a memorial service for the second anniversary of the passing away of her mother and, on leaving church, distributed 500 white carnations to other mothers. The next year, the tradition continued and a special service was held in honor of all mothers. The tradition caught on and resulted in today's various Mother's Day celebrations in the month of May.

Muttertagsbraeuche

Die Muttertagsbraeuche - Mother's Day customs

It's the children who honor and give thanks to their moms with good behavior, pampering, flowers, cards and gifts.

Die Muttertagskarte - gift card

Gutes Benehmen - good behavior

Verwoehnen - pamper

Die Nelke - carnation

Die Muttertagsblume - Mother's Day flower

In memory of Anna Jarvis, the traditional flower in Germany is the carnation. White carnations are reserved for dead mothers, the living ones receive red carnations and of course a big bunch of any other spring flowers and roses.

Weiss - white

Rot - red

Die Rose - rose

Fruehlingsstrauss - spring bouquet

Breakfast in bed is another Mother's Day treat. In Germany, Mother's Day is very much a family day. At the beginning of May, the weather is warming up and the day is often used for excursions.

Das Wetter - weather

Die Sonne - sun

Der Ausflug - excursion

Der Spaziergang - walk

Der Park - park

As it is a Sunday, Muttertagsgottesdienste are often held and attended.

Der Gottesdienst - church service

Zur Kirche gehen - attending church

A poem

No Mother's Day is complete without a poem. There is a rich choice of Muttertagsgedichte, from the classics to modern. Enjoy a very Hearts short one which, nevertheless, says it all.

Was soll ich Dir sagen?

What shall I say?

Ein langes Gedicht?

A long poem?

Ich hab Dich lieb

I love you

mehr weiss ich nicht

and that's all I know.

Frohen Muttertag

Happy Mother's Day.