Celebrating Mother's Day in Finland
Mother's Day in Finland or äitienpäivä has been celebrated since 1918. It all started when a school teacher named Vilho Reima brought it to Finland after Finland’s independence war. He wanted to pay special attention to all the mothers who became widows after the war.
It used to be celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of May, but after 1927, it is held on the second Sunday of May as in many countries. It has been a formal holiday since 1947, and from then on, the flag is raised up to the top of the pole on that day to commemorate all the mothers.
That week, there are mini celebrations at school where mothers or parents are invited for a coffee or tea either in the morning or afternoon where baked goodies await them. Kids will also give some handmade presents and cards.
On the day itself, traditional customs include pampering the mother, for example, the rest of the family would usually wake up early to prepare a big breakfast in bed for the mother, and it often comes with DIY cards and a bunch of flowers. There are also some Mother's Day concerts, parties, events in different places, and special promotions for lunch and dinner in many restaurants.
President honors exemplary mothers with the First Class Medals of the White Rose
Every year on Mother's Day, it is an annual tradition in Finland for the President to award honorary medals to exemplary moms on Mother's Day. In 2018, there were 30 prize-winning mothers who were awarded the First Class Medals of the White Rose Order. The mothers are awarded the medals for their exceptional skills in several areas such as child-rearing, social activism or community work, education, and many others. The selection can include single mothers, those who looked after very large families, foster or support mothers, moms of children with special needs or disabilities, and caregiver mothers.
The blooming of the flowers wood anemones in the forests of Finland usually happens on Mother's Day. Because of this, families, especially kids, often give their moms handfuls of these delicate flowers on their special day.