A Guide to Mother's Day Around the World | expatwoman.com

A Guide to Mother's Day Around the World

Take a look at how different countries around the world celebrate Mother's Day

Posted on

23 February 2016

Last updated on 18 October 2017
A Guide to Mother's Day Around the World

Different countries around the world celebrate Mother's Day on different dates, and in varied ways. If you're stuck for ideas on what to do or how to celebrate the leading lady in your life, perhaps you may be inspired by how people do it in different countries to you? 

How India Celebrates

A westernised version of Mother's Day is officially observed on May 10 in India, though cities and cultural centers tend to celebrate it more than the smaller settlements. On this day mothers receive flowers, a prepared meal, cards or a phone call.

You might also be interested in:

How Japan Celebrates

The Japanese call Mother's Day haha no hi. The Japanese celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. A family may prepare and enjoy traditional dishes that their mothers taught them to cook. The Japanese give their Mothers flowers; especially red carnations; scarves, handkerchiefs and handbags.

How the United Kingdom Celebrates

Like the rest of Europe, England and Ireland observed the mid-Lent holiday and honored and decorated their “Mother Church,” the church where they were baptized. The church eventually extended the observation to honour all mothers. The English called this Mothering Sunday and, in the 1700's they observed it by taking a break from the fasting and penitence of Lent and having a family feast.

Children would make a rare journey home from their apprenticeships and jobs to spend the day with their mother and family. Today the UK’s Mother’s Day continues in much the same way as the old tradition, with cards and dinners in honor of Mom.

How Italy Celebrates

Italians celebrate La Festa della Mamma with a big feast and a cake made in the shape of a heart. Typically Italian schoolchildren will make something to bring home to their mothers, and the family will take care of the chores for the day.

How Pakistan & Saudi Arabia Celebrate

The celebration of Motherhood in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is called Yaum ul-umm. It is inspired by and modeled after the western tradition of Mother's Day in which all mothers are honored and given gifts. Celebrations and feasts are customary.

How the United States of America Celebrates

When the first English settlers went to America, they discontinued the tradition of Mothering Day. While the British holiday would live on, the American Mother’s Day would be re- invented centuries later. One explanation for the settlers’ discontinuation of Mothering Day was that they just didn’t have time; they lived under harsh conditions and were forced to work long hours in order to survive.

SEE ALSO: 20 gifts that will impress your mother-in-law

When the United States congress approved Mother’s Day in 1914, they designated it for the second Sunday in May, and required that the President proclaim the Holiday every year shortly prior to its commencement.

Typically a family in the United States will devote Mother’s Day to activities in honour of mom, whether playing games, going out to dinner, taking the weekend off or going on a walk in the park. Flowers are popular and it is also common to give cards and chocolates.


How do you celebrate in your home or expat country? Let us know by emailing contribute@expatwoman.com!