In Canada and the US, we'll be celebrating Mother's Day this Sunday, May 14th. However, if your mother is in another part of the world, when will you celebrate? This holiday exists around the globe, but it's honorary date and way of celebrating differs a bit from one country to another. Let's look at a few traditions.

In the United Kingdom, Mother's Day is known as Mothering Sunday. It's also celebrated a few weeks earlier than we do here. It falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent and was originally a holiday to celebrate one's "mother" church. Over time, it became a day to celebrate mothers. A popular custom is to bake and eat a Simnel Cake (a fruit cake with marzipan). Families typically celebrate with gifts of greeting cards, flowers and food.

In Ethiopia, Mother's Day is a three day celebration called Antrosht. It begins on the second Sunday in May. Celebrations revolve around food, which is sourced and prepared by the children. Traditional dishes include a hash made from lamb or bull, vegetables and butter.

Japan's Mother's Day took on new meaning after WWII, when it became a holiday to comfort mothers who'd lost their children in the war. Today it's celebrated by everyone on the second Sunday of May.

Popular gifts from children include red or pink carnations, doing the chores, cooking food, and handmade items. Drawing a portrait of one's mom and calligraphy are also cherished.

In France, Mother's Day is celebrated on either the last Sunday of May or the first Sunday of June. 

This holiday began during the time of Napoleon, when mothers of large families were awarded medals. Traditionally, a cake in the shape of a flower bouquet is served, along with a special family meal. Gifts include flowers, jewellery, perfume, chocolate, handwritten poems or other handmade gifts.

In Mexico, Mother's Day is on May 10th and is called La Dia de la Madre. Its origin has religious and political roots. The holiday was created as part of a motherhood campaign when women were beginning to have fewer children and work outside the home.

Restaurants tend to be packed on this holiday as it is common to celebrate with a family lunch out. Gifts include flowers and candies, among other things. Often, children will create a play to perform as part of the celebration.

La Festa della Mamma is what Mother's Day is called in Italy. It takes place on the second Sunday of May. The holiday is mostly about spending quality time with one's mother. This involves sharing meals together, including going out for lunch to a restaurant. Roses are a popular gift, as is handwritten poetry. It's also traditional to serve a heart shaped cake for dessert.

A few famous mothers & daughters:

  • Judy Garland & Liza Minnelli
  • Goldie Hawn & Kate Hudson
  • Diana Ross & Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher
  • Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I
  • Ingrid Bergman & Isabella Rossellini
  • Blythe Danner & Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Tippi Hedren & Melanie Griffith (and Melanie Griffith & Dakota Johnson)
  • Angela & Margherita Missoni

Wherever and whenever you celebrate, we wish you a wonderful Mother's Day this year!

May 09, 2023 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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