With Mother’s Day around the corner, we decided to take a look at how Mothers all around the world are celebrated in different cultures.
Pretty much every nation around the globe has a day dedicated to their matriarch. If you have friends in the UK, you may have noticed that they celebrate about a month before we do here in the US. It can serve as a decent reminder that you still have time to buy or make a gift.
Most of the time, we are so used to our own holiday schedule that we forget that other cultures have their own celebrations. Today we look at several different countries and their celebrations of their mothers.
The United Kingdom
Mother’s Day in the UK began as a church-based holiday in the 16th Century. It was known originally as “Mothering Sunday” due to being on the fourth Sunday of Lent. On this day, people would take off from work and spend a day with their family at the church which they were baptized. In modern days, the holiday has fewer religious connotations and has shifted towards a celebration with gifts, flowers, and maybe Mother’s Day Brunch.
The United States
The first Mother’s Day in The United States of America was celebrated in 1908. A woman, Anna Jarvis, held a memorial for her mother who had passed away. She was a Civil War medic and peace activist who wanted a day to dedicate to our mothers. By 1914, the tradition gained so much popularity across the nation that Woodrow Wilson, the president of the time, declared every second Sunday in May would become a national holiday. Hallmark began selling their Mother’s Day Cards in 1920, and we continue to shower our mothers with gifts, flowers, cards, and quality time.
In the country of Peru, the week before Mother’s Day, also known as Dia De La Madre, includes several large meals, festivities, and performances to honor the mothers in each area. While families around the globe honor the holiday by taking their mom to brunch or spending the day at home, Peruvians spend the day at a cemetery. Families spend their day visiting, cleaning, and decorating the graves of their female family members.
Mothers play a very important role in Mexican culture. Dia de las Madres presents the lessons and sacrifices of these special women. Originally, children would wake up early and start performing music to wake their mom. It is also conventional for kids to perform a play or skit for them mid-day. After all this, it is common to give Mother’s Day cards, gifts, flowers, and a night out to eat so she doesn’t need to cook.
Mother’s Day in France (Fête des Mères) originates from an old celebration of women’s equality. Before 1904, men with families with more than 3 children were granted a special honor from the government, to urge small families to have more kids at the peak of a low birth rate period. In 1904, women were made qualified for this respect and recognized as an equivalent leader of the family. By 1920, the French government proclaimed a national holiday to praise mothers and ladies’ equality. It is celebrated on the last Sunday in May unless Pentecost falls on that day, in which case, it will be the following Sunday. Generally, it is celebrated with a large feast and smaller presents.
The Canadian Mother’s Day is pretty similar to the American Mother’s Day. Carnations are the customary flower and a mainstream gift. A few Canadians even celebrate by wearing carnation pins. Specifically, in Quebec it is natural for French Canadian men to give a rose to their mothers and spouses.
The Mother’s Day practice in Bolivia a has noteworthy historical ties that go back to the 1800s. On May 27, 1812, a gathering of Bolivian women waged war against the Spanish Army attempting to win freedom for their nation. From that point on, the nation has praised women and mothers on May 27th in recognition of the individuals who gave their lives for their nation’s freedom. It was announced an official holiday in 1927; children generally put on a program for their mother and gave them cake rather than flowers.
In Bulgaria, Mother’s Day is stitched into the nation’s International Women’s Day festivities. It was first celebrated in 1910 to honor and respect women across the world. It was officially declared an international holiday by the United nations in 1975. Different countries like Chile, Croatia, Romania, Cameroon, Herzegovina, and Bosnia all celebrate the two-in-on holiday.