Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Around the World

Growing up, mother's day was just another day.  I never appreciated my mother and all she did enough, so this one day was a day for us to celebrate and thank her.  I would usually make or buy her a card, and that was it.  Now of course as a mom myself, mother's day signifies a bit more to me.  I realize everything my mother has went through, and I can truly appreciate her.

I wanted to know, what do other countries do to celebrate mother's day?  Just cards, flowers, and maybe a meal together like the US?

Australia:  Mother's Day falls on the same day as it does in the US.  They wear a carnation on mother's day.  A colored carnation signifies that a person's mother is living, while a white carnation  is used to honor a deceased mother.  They say this is the same tradition as the US, but of course, I've never seen anyone in the US do this...

France: The French do not celebrate Mother's Day.  Instead, a special day for moms is reserved for the last Sunday in the month of May, where they have a family dinner and usually the mother is presented with a cake that looks like a bouquet of flowers.

India: Mother's Day in India is an idea that is slowly catching; the concept of celebrating moms on the second day of the month of may has been a success, although only happening for around the last decade or so.  It is also said that this is a great achievement for a foreign festival to make it's presence felt in a culturally diverse  and vast country like India.

Ireland: Mother's Day is not celebrated on the same day as in the US, it takes place on the fourth Sunday while in Christian fasting month of Lent.  The history of Mothering Sunday can be traced to medieval practice where children from poor families were sent to work as domestic servant and apprentices to work with the rich.  Once a year in the middle of Lent, these children were given a day off to visit their 'Mother Church' and worship Virgin Mary.  Afterwards, they visited their true mother's and gave them flowers they'd picked along the way.

Mexico: Mother's Day is celebrated on a fixed day of May 10.  This day in May is a celebrated in a colorful fashion, and children honor their mothers and thank them for bringing them up according to Mexican custom.  Sons and daughters make them present in the house on the eve of Mother's Day on May 9.  Mother's day is celebrated with excitement as the churches in Mexico organize special mass.  The high point of the event is the orchestra which plays "las mananitas" and then distribution of tamales and atole which is the traditional early-morning meal to local moms.

New Zealand:  They celebrate the second Sunday of the month. They also celebrate this day similarly, going out to dinner with family and providing cards and flowers.

South Africa:  Also celebrated the second Sunday in the month of May, Mother's Day is a day where the important of mothers acknowledged and they are thanked profusely for their love and care.  Young children present their mothers with homemade gifts while the elder ones buy gifts.  Grandmothers and women who are like mothers are also thanked this day.

Spain: Mother's Day in Spain is celebrated on December 8.  Spaniards pay tribute not only to their own mothers that day, but also to the Virgin Mary.  It's a day that includes religious celebrations around the country.

UK:  Mother's day is celebrated with great excitement, but does not fall on the same date as the US either.  Celebrations take place on the fourth Sunday in the month of Lent.  Since the Lent days are not fixed, the date for Mother's Day changes every year.   Mother's Day came to be celebrated in the UK in the 17th century as Mothering Sunday, much before the custom began in the US-the tradition began much earlier in England.  In fact, England was the first country in the world to dedicate a day for mothers as early as the 1600's.  The tradition of Mothering Sunday stopped with the advent of the Industrical revolution in England when the working conditions and pattern of life changed.  Now, the day is referred to as Mother's Day in the UK and there is a tradition of making rich, almond cake for mothers called 'Mothering Cake' or 'Simnel Cake'.

Of course, those are just a few countries but it's interesting to see how other people celebrate.  I think I like Mexico's idea of a large celebration, music, and food!  Or...that almond cake looks pretty delish too!  Whatever your celebration style is this Mother's Day, we hope you have a wonderful and relaxing time with your family!   ~ Trina

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