Art & Culture

Published on April 25th, 2023 | by Isabelle Karamooz, Founder of FQM


From Fête des Mères to Mother’s Day: Exploring the Differences Between Celebrating Moms in France and the United States

Mother’s Day is a holiday celebrated around the world, but did you know that the traditions and customs associated with this day can vary greatly depending on the country you’re in? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the difference between Mother’s Day in the United States and in France, and how each country celebrates this special day.

In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. This year, it is May 14th. This day is typically marked by children and spouses showering their mothers with gifts, flowers, and heartfelt cards expressing their love and appreciation. Brunches and family gatherings are also common, as people come together to honor the important role that mothers play in their lives.

Photo Credit: Anna Shvets from Pexels

In France, on the other hand, Mother’s Day, or “Fête des Mères” in French, is celebrated on the last Sunday of May or the first Sunday of June, depending on the year. This year, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on June 4th. The origins of the French holiday can be traced back to the early 20th century, when a woman named Prosper Roche campaigned for the creation of a national day to honor mothers. Today, the holiday is celebrated throughout the country with family gatherings, flowers, and gifts.

While the basic idea of celebrating mothers is the same in both countries, there are some key differences in how the day is observed. For example, in France, it is customary for children to create handmade gifts or cards for their mothers, rather than buying expensive presents. It is also common for families to gather for a special meal, often featuring a cake called “Gâteau Maman,” which translates to “Mom’s Cake.”

Photo Credit: cottonbro studio from Pexels

In the United States, on the other hand, gift-giving is often the focus of the day, with children and spouses searching for the perfect present to show their appreciation for their mothers. Brunches and dinners are also popular, but there is less emphasis on creating homemade gifts and more on buying something special.

Photo Credit: Anna Pou from Pexels

Another notable difference between the two countries is the level of commercialization associated with Mother’s Day. In the United States, Mother’s Day has become a major consumer holiday, with businesses promoting sales on flowers, cards, and gifts in the weeks leading up to the day. In France, however, the holiday is more low-key, with less of a focus on commercialization and more on spending time with family.

In conclusion, while Mother’s Day is celebrated in both the United States and France, the traditions and customs associated with the holiday can vary greatly depending on the country. Whether you prefer the commercialized approach of the United States or the more family-oriented approach of France, one thing is clear: mothers deserve to be celebrated and honored every day of the year, not just on Mother’s Day.

Header Photo Credit: Barbara Olsen from Pexels

About the Author

is originally from Versailles, France. Isabelle harbored a lifelong fascination with exploring the world. Her journey began at 17 when she seized the opportunity to study abroad in Rhonda, Spain, igniting a passion for travel that took her across continents. From vibrant Hong Kong to picturesque Ireland, from the historic streets of Italy to the enchanting landscapes of Morocco, she embraced diverse cultures and experiences, truly embodying the spirit of a global citizen. After several years of exploration, Isabelle found a sense of home in Los Angeles, where she immersed herself in the vibrant cultural scene while working at the French Consulate. With a deep-seated love for the arts and history, she pursued her academic endeavors, earning a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley. Furthering her dedication to education, she has studied to pursue a Master's program in teaching at the University of Southern California, eventually sharing her knowledge and passion as a French instructor for aspiring students at UNLV and CSN in Nevada. Driven by her passion for storytelling and cultural exchange, Isabelle founded French Quarter Magazine, where she serves as the Editor-in-Chief. In this role, she orchestrates the publication's diverse content, from conducting interviews and pitching story ideas to capturing captivating moments through photography. Currently, she is channeling her creative energies into her first English-language work, a novel that delves into the compelling life of Coco Chanel. Filled with adventure, intrigue, and a touch of romance, her debut novel promises to captivate readers with its rich tapestry of history and emotion.

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