The celebration of the French Grandma's Day was neither pagan nor related to Catholic holidays. We owe the arrival of Grandma's Day to ... the owners of the cafe.
In 1954 in Roubaix in the northern parts of the country, near the border with Belgium, there was a shop. It was called L'Abondance, and it was a shop with food. And in this place, which was not so distant, yet for some folks lay behind seven mountains, the idea came to market a new brand of coffee. It was Grandma's coffee or Café Grand'Mère. René Monnier, the founder of the company, began distributing the product in the northern parts of the country, and then, with the appropriate funding and publicity, throughout France. The coffee brand still exists today. Its logo features a grey-haired lady in a bun, drinking coffee. Was René Monnier the one who came up with the name of the coffee?... If the reader has doubts about it, he or she is right. It is Mr René's wife who is behind the idea. But what does it have to do with Grandma's Day? We'll find out soon.
Unexpected effects of the promotion
Every product needs promotion and advertising to sell well. In 1987, as part of marketing activities, there was... grandma's day. Every year, Mr Monnier's company organized more and more new events and workshops related to the celebration of the holiday. Eventually, it became so popular that it covered all of France. Ten years after the creation of the now-famous celebration, 83% of the Frenchmen heard about Grandmothers Day. Before the introduction of the event, grannies received greetins on mothers Day. The day of the celebration of Grandmother Day fell on the first Sunday of March.
What to do on the first Sunday of March?
If you are a child, there is no problem with it. You play around, create your art and entertain grannie. Your school or kindergarten takes care of you. Various events, workshops and competitions are organized at schools on Grandma's Day. Adults take care of grandma, offering her flowers, presents and delicious food. Florists offer bouquets, especially for grannies. The most popular flowers associated with the celebrations, are daffodils. Less specific, yet often handed out for grannies, are tulips. Apart from this, one can participate in meetings organized due to the occasion.
What to expect as a grannie?
Children have their ways of expressing emotions, both positive and negative. And to express affection. Of various possible presents, which grandma may receive, the most wanted and well-remembered ones are those made by the little fingers of her grandchildren. What is of importance that day?... A bouquet from colourful paper, an origami bird, a scarry monster from salt dough. Creativity of children is priceless. A little painter may do a card for grannie, and a little poet writes some interesting verses. More mature grandchildren may invite grannie for a cup of coffee. Cards, e-mails and even SMSes with wishes are of extreme popularity. If somebody wants to wish grandma something special, yet has difficulties in expressing it, there is a way out. Internet sites offer various text templates. As we see, not being a poet does not exclude sending splendid wishes.
Grandmas Day in other countries
Celebrations of Grandmothers' Day are popular in many countries. In most of them the day started to be acknowledged in the 1970s. The first country which began the tradition, was Poland. The so-called "Dzień Babci" appeared on stage in 1964. What about the grandpa?... Other nations have a Grandparents Day. It is ackonwledged in the USA, Australia, Canada and Great Britain. Grandma and grandpas celebrate here together. The symbol of the festival consists of a flower with a meaningful name: forget-me-not.
The reason for the popularity of "Fete des grand mere"
Interestingly, French grannies are young!... According to an INSEE study of 15 million French grandparents, women first become 'grandmothers' at an average age of 54. Since there are many women of this age in France, it explains why Grandmas Day is so popular in the country.
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