We are approaching Mother’s Day in the US this coming Sunday, and it has been a couple years since I have been able to celebrate at home with my own mother.
Kristin with her mom in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Simon has been away from home even longer (although the U.K. Mother’s Day is actually in March).
Simon’s mum came to visit in Phuket, Thailand
Aside from different dates, the British and American holidays are very similar. They involve cards, flowers, and time spent together as a family.
But we got curious – is this the universal approach to how people show love or respect for the women who raised them? Or are there different traditions around the world? Here’s what we discovered:
In our current home, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the Queen’s birthday. This gives the day twice the significance, as mothers are honored alongside the mother of their nation. Celebrations include a big parade, and mothers often receive gifts of jasmine.
In some regions of Peru, mothers share their day with Pachamama, a Mother Earth goddess who is petitioned for fertility and safety from earthquakes.
You’ll find another dual-meaning on Russia’s Mother’s Day, which takes place on International Women’s Day. This makes it a day for discussing and encouraging gender equality and women’s rights. While mothers are given special attention on this day, the holiday really celebrates all women.
The Middle East
Most Middle Eastern countries celebrate their mothers on the first day of spring, which is symbolic for fertility, birth, and family.
Mothers are serenaded in Mexico for Mother’s Day, and they are given a day of rest – which means no cooking! This makes it the busiest day for restaurants every year in Mexico.
Mother’s Day is actually a three-day festival called Antrosht, which is celebrated at the end of rainy season. There is no specific date, it begins as the weather starts to clear and the rain lets up, which is usually in October or November. The children prepare most of the food, with girls handling vegetable dishes and boys taking care of the meat.
You’ll find this day is very important in Brazil – some say it is only second to Christmas! It is a time for extended family to join together for a huge barbecue, and children often plan and share performances for entertainment.
How many of you have spent Mother’s Day abroad? Did you notice any interesting traditions? And how did you still make the day special for your own mom?