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Celebrating Mother's Day Across Cultures: A Global Tribute to Mothers

By: Vera Mkhsian

The many different ways in which Mother's Day is observed around the globe are a reflection of the rich cultural heritage of the many different societies that commemorate it. This unique occasion provides a chance to recognize and cherish the altruistic affection, commitment, and caring nature of moms worldwide. Join PLK as we delve into the diverse ways Mother's Day is observed around the world, revealing the intricate web of cultural traditions that exist. 

On the second Sunday of May, many American households start the day with breakfast in bed, a bouquet of flowers, handcrafted cards, and other expressions of love for mom. A variety of local traditions and rituals, some very old and some very modern, form the basis of the ritual of honoring Mom in many parts of the world. The idea for Mother's Day in The United States came from a woman named Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, whose mom had founded women's clubs to encourage fellowship and wellness. In Grafton, West Virginia, at her mother's church, she had a memorial service on May 12, 1907. Within five years practically every state was marking the day, and in 1914 U.S. Pres.

The Mexican celebration of Mother's Day, known as Día de las Madres, is lively and full of color. As a community, we celebrate moms and grandmas with a meal, music, and flowers. Special gatherings and sincere gestures are commonplace on this day of celebration and gratitude. Mexico celebrates Mother's Day by showering moms with material presents. For moms, it is typically a heartfelt tribute that causes them to grab for Kleenex. 

On May 9, many of the children return to their ancestral house so that they can start the celebrations on May 10. Imagine if Mexican Mother's Day is on a Wednesday. When that happens, it's not uncommon for schools to host events where kids may serenade their mothers with music. 

Mexicans celebrate Mother's Day with a musical extravaganza that is well-known around the globe. Many mothers are roused from their slumber by the sound of their children singing "Las Mañanitas," a serenade that occasionally features a mariachi band that has been hired.

Like its North American counterparts, Mother's Day in Japan falls on the second Sunday of May. Carnations, which represent the everlasting and gentle love of a mother, are a hallmark of this special day. Gifts and acts of kindness are common ways that children try to express their gratitude. A modified Mother's Day became commonplace in the years after WWII as a means of consoling moms who had lost boys in the conflict. Carnations are commonly given during this March holiday in Japan because they represent the enduring sweetness of motherhood. In the past, when a mother was still alive, children would give her a red carnation, and when she had passed away, they would exhibit a white one. The color white is now considered conventional.

Antrosht is a greater Ethiopian celebration that celebrates mothers and the end of the rainy season; it includes Mother's Day as one of its components. In this joyous occasion, loved ones gather for shared meals, music, and dance. In order to help their moms cook, children often bring in food that has just been gathered. Mothers are honored at the Antrosht celebration, which takes place near the conclusion of the rainy season in early September. Everyone gets together for a big feast and celebration after the weather finally clears up. It is customary for daughters to offer cheese and veggies and sons to bring meat. They honor the family's heroes via song and dance as they cook a meat hash.

On April 7th, Mother's Day is observed in Armenia as "Astvatsatsin" (Աստուածածին , meaning "Holy Mother of God." Armenians worship mothers and the Virgin Mary on this day, which is also a major religious and cultural festival. Church services are attended by families, and mothers and other maternal figures get blessings. It is traditional for children to express their love and gratitude to their moms on this day by presenting them with flowers, presents, and greeting cards. In honor of the holiday, many Armenian families get together for celebratory dinners. Warmth, compassion, and appreciation for moms' unselfish care and nurture fill the air on this special day.

Many Nepalese people mark Mother's Day with deep respect and devotion; the festival is called "Mata Tirtha Aunsi" or "Mata Tirtha Puja" in Nepali. This day is decided by the lunar calendar and usually falls in April or May. For the people of Nepal, it is deeply sacred both culturally and religiously. Sons and daughters honor their moms with unique traditions and ceremonies during Mata Tirtha Aunsi. Children bathe their mothers in holy water and give them presents of food, clothing, and jewelry as part of a heartwarming tradition. This deed represents the rebirth and cleansing of the mother's favor. Mata Tirtha ponds, close to Kathmandu, are a popular site for family gatherings to pay respects to mothers and ancestors who have passed on. There is a strong belief that a dip in these holy waters on this auspicious day will grant those who have passed on some measure of serenity, giving this location great spiritual significance. It's a moving occasion when families contemplate the enduring connections to motherhood. 


The universal significance of Mother's Day in commemorating and honoring motherhood gives it great significance in many cultures. Mothers give their families and communities their unending love, sacrifice, and supportive presence, and this annual event is a global reminder of that. Around the world, people get together to celebrate Mother's Day, a moving tribute to the moms who have had such a profound impact on their children's lives and on society as a whole.

If you want to know more about Mothers Day, its connections to our world, and its importance, you should read our last Mother’s Day blog Ancient women leaders/deities in honor of Mother’s Day!


Staff, S. P. (2018, December 7). Mother’s day traditions around the world. Scholastic. 

Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2024, April 14). Mother’s Day. Encyclopædia Britannica. 

El Día de la Madre: Mexican mother’s day explained. (n.d.). 

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