International Women's Day

"Happy 8th of March!"
Did you know that in certain countries, there's another day in between Valentine's Day and Mother's Day when women expect to be lavished with gifts and affection and multiple kisses?! The new "holiday" completely took me by surprise, but I am not going to lie, it was a welcomed surprise. International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th (yesterday), and I feel like I have been cheated of 27 years worth of mouth watering chocolates and bright bouquets of flowers! 

Maybe my Dad just kept the day a secret from me to protect his pocket book. 


I got curious and started asking questions. 

So what's the deal with this International Women's Day? Do little girls get flowers too or do you have to have a boyfriend or husband in the picture? Do all school children bring their teachers gifts? Do women get the day off from work . . . or is this a working holiday? Do women give other women flowers and chocolate? What are the origins and why does America not recognize March 8th?

I got some mixed answers so I did a little research on my own. 

Initially March 8th was called International Working Women's Day, and it started as a Socialist political event to celebrate women's economic, political and social achievements. The day was primarily recognized by Eastern European countries, Russia and the former Soviet bloc - hence why I had never heard of the holiday in America. In West Europe, International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1977 when the UN declared March 8th the day for women's rights and world peace. Today, a lot of countries have dropped the political flair, and simply turned it into another day where women are appreciated and fattened up with chocolates and fancy dinners. 

The UN theme for March, 8th 2012 was "Empower Women - End Hunger and Poverty."

That is a cause I can get behind! 

My first International Women's Day was a smashing success, and I think I am going to demand it always be celebrated regardless of where Chris and I live. 

So here are a few pictures of International Women's Day 2012 in Subotica, Serbia:

Chris went all the way to Belgium to spoil me on March 8th with handmade chocolates!
My guy friends gave me chocolates and three kisses on my cheeks - that's the tradition. 
School boys bringing flowers to girlfriends or teachers. 

Almost every man was on a mission with flowers in tow. 
I think that women give other women flowers on March 8th too. 
Flower stands on every corner. 
I guess some people give dried "decorative" flowers as an alternative. 

Ready to sell and deliver!
Someone really loves her.
I found that in Subotica, some businesses give their employees a half day on March 8th, but it is still considered a working holiday. Ohhh, and all women, young and old, are given gifts, and it does not matter if they have a lover in their life.