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Family members will be picking up gifts for their mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day. The annual celebration is not unique to the United States. Many countries around the world have their own way of honoring mothers, aside from giving them flowers, chocolates or other gifts.
The holiday has evolved into different ways to celebrate motherhood, combining cultural and religious traditions that make the celebration more meaningful and unique. Around 40 countries worldwide celebrate Mother’s Day but the dates may differ. In many countries, the observance is derived from the holiday traditions coming from the United States, though. In other countries, they combine the American traditions with their own.
If you want to learn the history of Mother’s Day, check this out.
Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World
For now, look at how some countries honor their mothers during their special day.
In France, Mother’s Day is on the fourth or last Sunday in May, unless it occurs on the same Sunday as Pentecost. If this happens, it is moved to the following Sunday. It is called fetes des meres in France and it was established under the law in 1950. The celebration typically follows the U.S. with flowers, cards and family dinners. Young children usually do chores for their mothers, along with giving them handwritten poems.
Mother’s Day is new to the Chinese, although filial piety is a tradition that has been practiced for generations. China follows other countries and celebrates it on the second Sunday of May, with families giving gifts to their mothers and holding other family bonding activities.
Mothering Sunday has been observed in the United Kingdom since the 16th century. The modern version is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which typically falls around the middle of March. People give their mothers cards and gifts but some families still follow the tradition of presenting their mothers with a Simnel cake.
Mexico is known for its colorful festivities. For them, Mother’s Day is a serious holiday with restaurants, mariachi singers, flower vendors and almost everyone taking the time to prepare for the event. In some rural places, mothers are serenaded in front of their homes early in the morning. In the city, mariachis typically sing to the mothers dining in restaurants or at special parties. They belt out songs like Las Mañanitas and Amor de Madre.
Mother’s Day in Japan is previously observed as Haha no Hi to celebrate Empress Koujun’s birthday. But the modern version is now observed on the second Sunday of May. Daughters and sons typically present their mothers with carnations. For the Japanese, carnation symbolizes a mother’s gentle strength.
Mother’s Day in Germany is called Muttertag, which is observed on the second Sunday of May unless it overlaps with Pentecost. During WWII, mothers were awarded medals for giving birth to children for the Fatherland. Today, Muttertag is celebrated with flowers, gifts and cards.
Down Under, Mother’s Day is observed on the second Sunday of May just like in many parts of the world. Carnations and chrysanthemums are the most popular flowers given to mothers on this particular day. However, Australians also acknowledge aunts and grandmothers when they celebrated Mother’s Day, showering them with gifts. Many organizations hold various activities to raise funds for women’s causes during Mother’s Day.
Peru is another country that observes many traditions. They also celebrate Mother’s Day in May, like other countries. Peruvian children treat their mothers with chocolates, family meals and handmade gifts. Mothers on the other hand also give their children gifts on this day.
Mother’s Day or Dia das Mães falls on the second Sunday of May and is one of the most commercial holidays in Brazil. People hear mass and children hold special performances afterwards. They also hold barbecue parties attended by multigenerational families.
10. Other countries
Other countries likewise celebrate Mother’s Day but it falls on different dates. The traditions are almost the same – presenting their mothers with meals, gifts and flowers.
In the former Soviet Union, it is commemorated during the celebration of International Women’s Day but since 1998, the celebration in Russia has been held on the last Sunday of November.
In many Arab countries including Egypt, the holiday is held on March 21.
In Thailand it’s observed during the birthday of Queen Sirikit on August 12. Mothers usually visit their children in school and the children will have a special ceremony for them, ending with the children kneeling at the feet of their mothers.
Ethiopia observes Mother’s Day when the rainy season ends.
Serbia celebrates the occasion in December, during which Father’s Day and Children’s Day are also observed.
Wherever you are located in the world, honor the person you call Mother, Mom, Moeder, Mum, Ahm, Maman, Nanay, Mathair, Mamma, Okaasan, Ibu, Madre or any other way by telling her you love her and thanking her for bringing you into this world.