Every year, on March 8, Romanian cerebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD), and Mother’s Day.
The celebration started as a Socialist political event in Russia, in 1965 when Lenin declared it official holiday, and spread across the entire Soviet block soon after. But keep in mind, that unofficially, a women’s day was already celebrated around the world, on different dates, since 1909.
Later, the popularity of the holiday inspired other countries, and today, March 8 is an official holiday in the following countries: Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Croatia, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia.
In Romania, March 8 is not an official holiday, but it’s held nevertheless. Note that here, this day is also the equivalent of Mother’s Day, and there is no other official or unofficial day to celebrate motherhood other than this. The custom, similar to all customs in the countries that celebrate the day, is for men to give ALL the women in their lives flowers or gifts. Female teachers receive small gifts from their students too, whether boys or girls. The idea that the female teacher is the equivalent of a mother figure prevails.
Official or not, for Romanians March 8 is a national celebration. After work, women colleagues or friends often dine together, but the greatest joy is for mothers who receive that little special attention from their children. So while the world celebrates IWD, think of March 8 as Mother’s Day in Romania, and you will understand its significance.