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Moederdag: Celebrate Mother’s Day in the Netherlands!

In the Netherlands, holidays are celebrated with a lot of heart; Moederdag may be celebrated with even more heart! Moederdag (“Mother’s Day”) in the Netherlands is special among Dutch holidays, as it gives children and grandchildren a day to rejoice in their mothers.

Another fun fact about family holidays: Netherlands first celebrated Mother’s Day before it celebrated Father’s Day! Do you know when each holiday was first celebrated here? We’ll give your curious mind the answer later. 😉

At DutchPod101.com, we hope to make learning about holidays in Netherlands both fun and informative! So let’s get started.

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1. What is Mother’s Day?

We celebrate Mother’s Day being mindful of the fact that our mothers assume the role of caregiver for the family throughout the entire year, and that they have always done so. For this reason, Mother’s Day is when their children (and grandchildren) show their appreciation, respect, and love for them.

Mother’s Day has been celebrated in the Netherlands for close to a century, each year seeing mothers cherished through gifts, quality time, kind words, and more!

2. Mother’s Day Date: When is Mother’s Day?

Mother's Day is on a Sunday

The date of Mother’s Day in the Netherlands varies each year, but is always the second Sunday in May. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: May 12
  • 2020: May 10
  • 2021: May 9
  • 2022: May 8
  • 2023: May 14
  • 2024: May 12
  • 2025: May 11
  • 2026: May 10
  • 2027: May 9
  • 2028: May 14

3. Reading Practice: How do the Dutch Celebrate Moederdag?

Daughter Giving Mother Flowers

Read the Dutch text below to find out how the Dutch celebrate Mother’s Day (and find the English translation directly below it).

Op deze ene dag in het jaar word moederlief vrijgesteld van haar taken en op een voetstuk geplaatst. Kinderen leggen de moeder in de watten en begint de dag vaak met ontbijt op bed plus een cadeautje. Bij hele jonge kinderen wordt het cadeautje vaak een week van te voren al gemaakt op school. Op een latere leeftijd wordt het al gauw een bloemetje of zelfs een luchtje.

On this one day of the year, mommy dearest gets to take a break and is put on a pedestal. Children pamper the mother and often start the day with breakfast in bed, plus a gift. As for really young kids, they often make the gift at school a week in advance. When they’re older, they move on to giving a flower or even perfume spray.

4. Beginnings of Mother’s and Father’s Day

When do you think Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were first celebrated in the Netherlands?

Mother’s Day was celebrated in the Netherlands for over a decade before the first official Father’s Day ever was. Mother’s Day began around 1925 in the Netherlands, and Father’s Day didn’t start until 1937. So, Mother’s Day officially came earlier, so the fathers still have over a decade of catching up to do on presents!

Another tidbit of information for you:

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are not to be confused for Mama and Papa days. These days, it’s becoming more common for both parents to hold jobs and the children to spend the day in elementary school and a daycare center. To keep this to a minimum, we have days off for parental leave in the form of “Mama” and “Papa” days.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Mother’s Day in the Netherlands

A Present

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Mother’s Day in the Netherlands!

  • Zondag — “Sunday”
  • Zoon — “Son”
  • Dochter — “Daughter”
  • Chocolade — “Chocolate
  • Diner — “Dinner”
  • Roos — “Rose”
  • Houden van — “Love”
  • Moeder — “Mother”
  • Cadeau — “Present”
  • Wenskaart — “Greeting card”
  • Moederdag — “Mother’s Day”
  • Cadeaubon — “Gift certificate”
  • Vieren — “Celebrate”
  • Ontbijt op bed — “Breakfast in bed”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Mother’s Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Mother’s Day celebrations in the Netherlands? In what ways do you see the country’s culture reflected in this popular holiday? Are celebrations similar in your own country? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.

To learn more about Netherlands culture, visit us at DutchPod101.com. We offer insightful blog posts on a variety of topics about the Netherlands, as well as podcasts to keep you informed on the go! You can also check out our free vocabulary lists to expand your Dutch word bank, chat with fellow Dutch learners on our forums, and upgrade to Premium Plus to take advantage of our MyTeacher program! At DutchPod101.com, there’s something for every learner and every learner can master the language and culture of beautiful Netherlands!

In the meantime, Gelukkige Moederdag! (“Happy Mother’s Day!” in Dutch). Be sure to give your mother, grandmother, or motherly figure some Mother’s Day flowers or a meaningful Mother’s Day gift!

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