When you think of Mother’s Day in the U.S., you probably think of flowers, phone calls and crowded restaurants for brunch. But did you ever wonder how Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world? Although Mother’s Day has been officially proclaimed a holiday since 1914 in the U.S., many countries around the world have been celebrating a day honoring mothers for centuries, with celebrations occurring in ancient Greece and Egypt. Check out the following to see how other countries honor moms.
In Costa Rica, mothers are honored on August 15. The date coincides with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven and is a national public holiday. As such, it’s also a day off from work, with banks, schools and offices closed for the day. However, many stores and restaurants remain open. It’s considered a day to celebrate mothers, grandmothers and other women important in everyone’s lives. It’s also a day off for moms. In addition to receiving small gifts, many moms get a break from doing the chores in honor of the special occasion.
England celebrates Mothering Sunday, which is typically celebrated on the fourth Sunday during Lent as a way to visit the nearest big church in the area. Today, church services are still an important part of the celebration, with special prayers given for mothers. Children typically give their mothers small presents or cards, too. Simnel cakes, which are fruitcakes with almond paste and marzipan, are also a part of Mothering Sunday.
Called Äitienpäivä, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May in Finland. The family might take a walk together before breakfast, and afterwards, the day is spent pampering mom with breakfast in bed or by preparing some of her favorite foods. The family may also visit the cemetery to remember mothers, grandmothers and other special relatives who have passed away. The day is also a way for some mothers to receive recognition on the national level through the receipt of honorary medals. Flags are flown across the country in recognition of the day.
Mother’s Day in Mexico is observed on May 10 every year and is called “Día de las Madres.” On that day, children honor their mothers with gifts, including homemade craft projects, boxes of favorite candy and flowers and some may also serenade their mothers with the song “Las Manañitas.” This song is sometimes accompanied by a mariachi band. Schools might organize special celebrations for mothers if the date falls on a school day. It is also a day to remember grandmothers, as well as mothers and grandmothers who are no longer alive.
In Thailand, Mother’s Day honors the birth of Queen Sirikit, considered the “Mother of all Thai people.” The day is observed on August 12 every year to commemorate her birth. Colorful lights, processions and speeches are all part of the celebration and the day also includes people thanking their own mothers for their love. Mothers are also presented with jasmine and in turn, the mothers bless their children.
Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.