Mother’s Day Around the World
In the U.S., we love to show Mom that we appreciate her with flowers and gifts. The holiday is widely celebrated by things like breakfast in bed, homemade cards, taking Mom to lunch, and other tokens of our love. Americans have been celebrating Moms with an official holiday since 1914.
In India, Moms are celebrated in October during a 10-day festival called Durga Puja. Durga, the goddess of mothers, serves as the original focus of this event, which has been in place since the 16th century. This holiday includes a religious ceremony and time for gifts, food, and family reunions. Families often spend weeks preparing for the festival and decorating their homes.
Mother’s Day holds a special meaning in South Africa that American mothers would definitely enjoy! On this day, children pamper their mothers and switch roles in the home. Mothers are exempt from household chores or cooking and the children take responsibility for everything. Mom can sit back and relax while her kids serve her everything she needs. Typically the children will take Mom out for dinner or a picnic at the end of the day.
The use of carnations on Mother’s Day remains a popular tradition in Japan. After WWII, carnations were used to comfort mothers who had lost sons in the war. Now, during Mother’s Day in March, children often give their Mom a red carnation or they wear a white one if their mother had passed away. You will see most people now wearing a white one to symbolize their affection for their mother.
In 1940, wife of President Camacho declared May 10th an official holiday to recognize the holiness of Moms. Today, Mexican children sing songs dedicated to their mother starting early in the morning. A religious mass is held at the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe to symbolize motherhood. An orchestra plays “las mananitas” and they give a traditional early-morning meal to all mothers.
Ethiopians hold a special festival dedicated to Moms in early Fall. Families gather together for a large meal and to celebrate Mother’s Day. Traditionally, daughters bring vegetables and cheese, while sons provide the meat. They prepare the meal together and family members sing and dance to tell stories of family heroes.
The French government chose the last Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day. In 1920, they awarded medals to mothers of large families for helping rebuild the population after WWI when many lives were lost. Times have changed but the traditional gift now is a flower-shaped cake to show gratitude for Mom.