Holidays vary from one country to another, and usually reflect a nation’s cultural and religious views. But every human being, no matter where they are from, has one thing in common – they all have a mother. For many, she is one of the most important figures in their lives. So, it’s no surprise that almost every culture celebrates Mother’s Day in its own special way.
This year, as you make your own Mother’s Day plans, why not look around the world for a little inspiration?
- Most countries celebrate the second Sunday in May. Many places, such as the Bahamas, Canada, Cyprus, Malaysia, Pakistan, the United States, and Zimbabwe all celebrate on this day. In Japan, children thank their mothers by giving them red carnations, a symbol of purity and sweetness. It’s also typical to prepare egg-based meals like Tamagoyaki, a rectangular-shaped omelet, or Chawanmushi, a custard egg.
- May is by far the most popular month for Mother’s Day. In countries like Portugal, Hungary, and Lithuania, Mother’s Day is held on the first Sunday instead of the second. The same is true in Spain, where many grateful children give their mothers clothes, handbags or even high-heeled shoes!
- Many Latin Americans treat mom on May 10th. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico all celebrate the holiday on this day. Mexican families, especially siblings, often get together to prepare a special meal or take their mother out to her favorite place. Instead of giving gifts, they focus on spending time together.
- There are so many days to celebrate Mom in May! On May 26 in Poland, young people carry red roses around with hopes of putting a smile on their mothers’ faces. Mother’s Day is also celebrated on May 15 (Paraguay), May 19 (Kyrgyzstan), May 27 (Bolivia) and on the last Sunday of May in numerous countries, such as Algeria, France, and Sweden.
In some places, the actual date of Mother’s Day changes from year to year:
- In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day doesn’t have a set date. Mother’s Day coincides with the end of the rainy season, an another extremely important event, which usually occurs mid-fall. Ethiopians pay tribute to their mothers with a three-day celebration. Children gather ingredients for their mothers who then prepare a traditional meal complete with celebration punch!
- Sometimes the day coincides with religious holidays. The United Kingdom, Ireland, and Nigeria, hold their celebrations on the fourth Sunday in Lent. The holiday is traditionally called Mothering Sunday.
- Many cultures look to the moon. In Myanmar, people appreciate mothers on a full moon day in January. Many countries like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and Somalia celebrate on March 21, when day and night are almost equal.
No matter where you live or how you celebrate, the sentiment behind Mother’s Day is truly global in nature: “We love you, Mom!”