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Mother’s Day Around the World

Mother's Day Around the World

Mother’s Day Around the World


“Thirty years ago, I lost my biological mother. I was 5 and too young to understand what was happening. I remember my grandmother kept crying and said “Poor kids! They’re too young to lose their mother”.

I hear a lot of sad stories about other children’s lives without their mom, but I didn’t cry because I was showered with a lot of care and love from my aunt (my mom’s younger sister). One month later, she became my step-mother without me even noticing.

Until now, I must say I am so lucky to have the most wonderful and caring mom, who sacrificed her entire youth to take care of her sister’s children. She asks for nothing more than to see us grow up and live happily. And she has all my respect and admiration.”

My story is only one among thousands of similar stories about amazing mothers. No matter where we are in the world, one thing in common is the gratitude that we have towards our mothers.

So if you’re wondering how to celebrate, or are looking for some Mother’s Day ideas, why not find some inspiration from the many ways families honour mothers around the world?

USA (North America)

1. USA (North America)

When: On the second Sunday of May ( Sunday, May 10, 2020)


The first American Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1908, when a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her late mother. Jarvis was a peace activist and a Civil War medic who wanted to have a national day for people to honour the sacrifices mothers make for their children. By 1914, the occasion had gained national popularity and President Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday in May would become a national holiday.

How they celebrate:

Mother’s Day is celebrated in the US in a big way and is considered as the next big commercial day after Christmas and Valentines Day. Children express love and gratitude for their mother in different ways. Some treat their moms with breakfast in bed, making a sumptuous lunch, or having fancy dinner at their favorite restaurant. Others prefer customizing their gifts to make them special such as writing a song, baking a cake, or making a hand-made card.

Popular Gifts: Carnations (red or pink)

Brazil (South America)

2. Brazil (South America)

When: On the second Sunday of May ( Sunday, May 10, 2020)


Mother’s day in Brazil is a day for people to celebrate motherhood and reflect on the significance of the Mom in their life. It’s also a way of marking and showing gratitude to all the mothers out there who work day and night to make the lives of their children a brighter one.

How they celebrate:

On Mother’s day, people go to church with their families and buy their mother cute little remembrance gifts and/or practical ones. The day is honored with a church outing and family barbecues with churrasco (grilled meat). Churrasco is a prime sirloin that is mainly served with rice and beans.

Also, many mothers and families go to various restaurants and cafes (such as Ipanema’s Gringo Cafe) for delicious desserts where people can choose their favorite pies, cakes, and cupcakes.

Popular Gifts: Electronic gifts such as tablets, smartphones.

UK (Europe)

3. UK (Europe)

When: On the fourth Sunday of Lent (Sunday, March 22, 2020)


The Mother’s Day tradition in the United Kingdom began as a church holiday in the 1500s, known as Mothering Sunday. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, people would take the day off work and return to the church in which they were baptized—known as their “mother church”—to spend the day gathering with family. Since then, the holiday has become less religious and turned more into a commercial celebration with flowers, gifts, and/or a Mother’s Day brunch.

How they celebrate:

Children pay tribute to their mothers and thank them for all their love and support. Some express their gratitude for their mothers by giving them flowers. Others make a rich almond cake or a traditional simnel cake, a spiced cake made with dried fruit and topped with marzipan balls.

Popular Gifts: Flowers such as roses, carnations, and chrysanthemums.

Ethiopia (Africa)

4. Ethiopia (Africa)

When: On the second Sunday of May (Sunday, May 10, 2020)


Unlike in many other countries, where Mother’s day is a celebration of a single day, in Ethiopia it is celebrated over a span of three days.

How they celebrate:

Ethiopia is one such country in Africa, where Mother’s day is celebrated with utmost zeal to honor the love that a Mother blends into her children’s lives. It’s an exceedingly special celebration in the country.

Mother’s Day is celebrated as part of the three-day Antrosht festival. When the weather clears up and the skies empty of rain, family members come home to celebrate with a large feast. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables, butter, spices and cheese, while the sons bring meat of various types, including lamb or bull. These will be included in a traditional hash recipe. Singing and dancing is shared by all family members.

Popular Gifts: Traditional Ethiopian hash.

Thailand (Asia)

5. Thailand (Asia)

When: August 12 (each year)


Mother’s Day used to be celebrated on April 15, since 1950. However, in 1976, it was formally changed to August 12 to commemorate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Mother of all Thai people. Establishing the Queen’s birthday as Mother’s Day was a thoughtful way to both recognize the important work she has done for Thailand while elevating and honoring the role that mothers play in families.

How they celebrate:

Many make an effort to go home and spend time with their family on this special day. When greeting their mother, they’ll take a moment to kneel before her and prostate (lying face down on the ground, stretched outwards) themselves. Thai people will also give their mother a garland of fragrant jasmine.

It’s also common for the entire family to make a trip to the local temple. Some families will make a charitable donation by visiting a local orphanage or children’s home to make a contribution. This is a way of passing on the love and care they have received from their mothers to those who are less fortunate.

Popular Gifts: Jasmine – seen as a symbol of purity, gentleness and motherhood.

Australia (Australia)

6. Australia (Australia)

When: On the second Sunday in May ( Sunday, May 10, 2020)


Mother’s day arose out of the efforts of a generous Australian lady who lived near Sydney, Janet Hayden. She took a great interest in the needs of the mothers in difficult financial circumstances who lived in her neighborhood, and in 1924, she started to offer them small gifts. Overtime, the idea was picked up and became a national day to honor Mothers.

How they celebrate:

Many Australians celebrate Mother’s Day by showing their appreciation for the achievements and efforts of mothers and mother figures. Traditionally, children wear carnations to honor their mothers – a white carnation means a deceased mother and a colored carnation means she is still living. Children pay tribute to their mother with breakfast in bed, cakes and small gifts. It is also custom to exchange perfume and teas. Australians also recognize their grandmother’s and other women who have loved and cared for them.

Popular Gifts: Colored carnations, chrysanthemums

Final Words

Happy Mother’s Day. Feliz Dia de las Madres. Melikami ye’inati k’eni. S̄uk̄hs̄ạnt̒ wạn mæ̀.

It doesn’t matter how you say it, the sentiment is the same: Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you to all Mothers around the world for sharing your smiles, hugs, words of encouragement and for all the countless times you’ve been there for us. We love you, Mom!


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