Originating in the US in the early 20th century, Mother´s Day has become a popular event celebrated in many parts of the world. As most countries celebrate Mother´s Day on the second Sunday of May, which is just around the corner, we decided to dedicate today´s post to this festive occasion. From fiesta in Mexico to tying moms with ropes in Serbia, check out these 25 Ways Mother’s Day Is Celebrated Throughout The World.
The US is where modern Mother´s Day began and the Americans celebrate it with a lot of enthusiasm and importance. One of the national holidays, it is a day when phone lines are busy with exceptionally heavy traffic as people are calling and texting their mothers and shops and restaurants are bursting at the seams.
In the UK, people celebrate Mother´s Day on fourth Sunday of Lent (which was on March 15 in 2015). Known as the Mothering Sunday, it is a day when they buy gifts, chocolates and flowers for their mothers. In fact, the tradition of the Mothering Sunday dates back to as early as 17th century.
In France, Mother´s Day used to be a part of an effort to fight low birth rate and encourage women to have more children. However, the celebration lost the natalist idea during the last decades and these days, it is a heavily commercialized event, celebrated on the last Sunday of May.
The Australians celebrate Mother´s Day on the second Sunday of May by giving their mothers flowers and cards. There is also a tradition of wearing carnations on this momentous day – a colored carnation signifies that the person’s mother is living while a white carnation is used to honor deceased mothers.
India is a country relatively new to the Mother’s day celebration tradition with the event gaining popularity. Adopting the American model and date of the celebration, Mother´s Day in India is mostly celebrated in cities and urban areas.
Mother´s Day was imported to Mexico from the US in 1922 and it quickly became a very popular holiday. Celebrated on June 10, Mother´s Day in Mexico includes large family gatherings, singing the traditional song “Las Mananitas”, magnificent feasts etc.
In Israel, Mother´s Day is celebrated on Shevat 30 of the Jewish calendar which falls between January 30 and March 1. Israel is one of the few countries where this tradition keeps its original meaning without massive commercialization. It is not an official holiday either.
Paraguay is the only country to celebrate Mother´s Day on May 15, which is also the Independence Day of the country. There have been some efforts to move Mother´s Day as it is much more popular than the Independence Day but so far, these two holidays stay un-separated.
In New Zealand, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Although it’s not considered a public holiday, Mother´s Day is a big day for locals who celebrate it by organizing picnic parties, giving cards and gifts to mothers; and even serving them breakfast in bed.
Celebrated on the second Sunday of May, Mother´s Day is a big day in Ethiopia. The celebration usually includes large family gatherings and feasts. Traditionally, daughters bring vegetables and cheese to their moms while sons are supposed to get meat.
In Canada, Mother´s Day is the third most popular festival just after Christmas and St. Valentine´s Day. The celebration is very similar to that of the US but in Canada, Mother´s Day is not a public holiday. Canadian mothers are given anything from cards, chocolates and flowers to jewelry and gift vouchers.
Mother´s Day is becoming more popular in China. In this country, one of the main purposes of the holiday was to celebrate the poor mothers caring for their families in rural areas. With the exception of a few cities, Mother´s Day still remains an unofficial festival in China.
In Belgium, Mother´s Day is celebrated on two different days. Most of the country celebrate it on the second Sunday of May but there are also many people who do it on August 15. Renowned for its delicious chocolate, Belgium is where mothers are mostly given chocolates, pastries and other sweets.
Although not an official holiday, Mother´s Day is a widely observed event in Brazil, second only to Christmas. In this South American country, people gather in churches where children perform for mothers and later celebrate via a huge barbecue party.
Indonesia is the only country to celebrate Mother´s Day on December 22. Originally, the purpose of the festival was to celebrate the spirit of all Indonesian women but these days, it is dedicated to mothers only. They are presented flowers and given a day off from domestic chores.
During WWII, German mothers were awarded medals (in gold, silver or bronze, depending on how many children they had) on Mother´s Day but now, the celebration is very similar to that of other western countries. Personalized cards, flowers and festive meals are among the most popular gifts for German mothers.
In the Philippines, Mother’s Day is officially celebrated every first Monday of December, together with Father’s Day. On this day, Filipino moms are given time to take care of themselves, relax, go shopping etc. as all their duties and chores are handled by their children.
Since 2010, Romania officially celebrates Mother’s Day on the first Sunday of May. Previously, Mother’s Day was celebrated on March 8, as part of the International Women’s Day (a relic from the communist era). Young children give their moms little hand-made gifts while grown-ups buy them flowers and chocolates.
Mother´s Day was imported to Thailand quite recently and it still hasn’t gained the mass popularity found in western countries but it is becoming a significant holiday. Thai people celebrate it on August 12 which is the Thai Queen Sirikit´s birthday. Similarly, Father´s Day is celebrated on the King´s birthday.
In Serbia, Mother´s Day is a part of an important holiday that takes place on three consecutive Sundays in December. Preceded by Children´s Day and followed by Father´s Day, Mother´s Day includes a tradition in which moms are tied up until they give treats and little gifts to their children.
In Japan, the date for Mother´s Day has changed a few times but currently it’s celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Japan is one of the countries where people wear carnations to honor their mothers but other than that, the celebration is the same as in the western world.
Promoted by Alice Masaryk, the daughter of the first Czechoslovakian president, Mother´s Day was first celebrated in 1923 in former Czechoslovakia. On Friday before the second Sunday of May, young children are helped by their teachers to make personalized cards and gifts for their mothers.
Argentina is the only country to celebrate Mother´s Day on the third Sunday of October. Originally, the holiday was celebrated on October 11, the date of an old liturgical celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary but after this festivity was moved to January 1st, Mother’s Day was moved to the third Sunday of October because of popular tradition. Argentine moms are presented treats and flowers and are taken care of by their children.
In Nepal, the equivalent of Mother´s Day is called “Mata Tirtha Aunsi“ (meaning “Mother Pilgrimage New Moon”) and it’s celebrated on the last day of the dark fortnight in the month of Baishakh which falls in April or May. Traditionally, Nepal people give gifts to their living mothers and, to honor the deceased, they go on a pilgrimage.
Similarly to other Arab countries, Egypt celebrates Mother´s Day on March 21 which is the first day of spring. Mother´s Day is among the most popular holidays in this North African country with restaurants, shops and hotels all in celebratory mode, often offering special discounts on that day.