Although Mother’s Day is celebrated in various months across the world, the sentiment is still the same – to celebrate the mother figures in our lives who have shown us unconditional love and guidance throughout our lifetimes. We love to read all about how different cultures celebrate, so we’ve rounded up 6 Mother’s Day traditions from around the globe for you!
After a harrowing World War II, a floral tradition began to comfort mothers who had lost sons to the war. It has now blossomed into a beautiful way to cherish all mothers throughout Japan. Carnations are the flower of the hour (day) to symbolise the sweetness and never-ending endurance of motherhood in Japanese culture. Historically, children gave a red carnation to a living mother and displayed a white carnation if their mother had passed away. Fast forward to today where white is now the traditional colour.
In the UK, Mother’s Day is more commonly known as ‘Mothering Sunday’ and celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent in the leadup to Easter. Step back in time to the 1700s when this day marked when young house servants were allowed to return home to spend time with their mothers. Families would also return to their childhood church if they had moved away from their town or village. Plus, who can forget the traditional simnel cake? Baked with the finest flour, fruits and marzipan, it’s a delicious treat for mothers to thank them for everything they do.
In a fantastic sentiment to the ever-changing world we live in, Israel changed Mother’s Day to Family Day in the 1980s. As their Ministry of Education explains it, this is to honour “the variety of configurations of the nuclear family. All combinations are welcomed with love: children with two mothers, or two fathers, or single-parent families – all are part of the celebration”. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
In Thailand, Mother’s Day is linked to the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit – being the mother of all Thai people. This combined celebration, and national holiday, began on the 12th of August in 1976 to thank both the Queen and mothers for their unconditional love. Mothers are invited to their children’s school to watch a special ceremony. Children will kneel before their mothers to show their love and respect and give a gift of white jasmine flowers (a symbol of maternal love).
Whilst showering mother figures with gifts, flowers and love, Peruvians will also make sure to remember mothers who are no longer with them – equally important of course, and never forgotten. Families will come together for a delicious meal and visit cemeteries to lay fresh flowers at mothers’ gravestones as a touching tribute.
As with most countries, Mother’s Day in France is steeped in history. In 1920 and post-World War I, many French lives had been lost so the government began to award medals to mothers of large families; to say thank you for rebuilding the population. After World War II was over, the government officially declared the last Sunday in May to be the Day of Mothers. Of course, it wouldn’t be a French celebration without a delicious treat…so a flower-shaped cake is the traditional gift come Mother’s Day.
What will you be doing to celebrate Mother’s Day this year?