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Mother's Day across the World


Mother's day across the world 

Learn even more! Read our blog: Origins of Mother's Day


Mother's day

Date, traditions, origins... Each mother's day celebration around the world has its history, some of which are truly remarkable.  Let's start our tour with Asia!


Mother's Day in China falls on the second day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar every year, but it is generally celebrated on the second Sunday in May. It is a holiday that was first celebrated regionally in Hong Kong and Macau. After the Chinese economic reform in 1979, the Chinese mainland began to embrace this holiday.

Distinguished from other countries, the Chinese people regard Mencius's mother as the paradigm. Mothers would traditionally receive hemerocallis flowers from their sons and daughters on this holiday. But nowadays carnations or forget-me-nots have become alternatives.


It is commonly believed that the first Mothers Day celebration in Japan occurred on 6th March, the birthday of Empress Kojun, who was the mother of Akihito (Japan’s current emperor). The celebration later became fully established alongside the organisation of the Imperial Women’s Union in 1931. During the Second World War, the Japanese were prohibited from celebrating Western customs and Mothers Day was brought to an abrupt end.

Or at least until 1949, when the War was over and Mothers Day saw a revival. The date changed to the second Sunday of May, when it continues to be celebrated to this day. 

Some countries in Asia celebrate mother's day in August.


In Thailand, it's on August 12th, birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Sirikit, considered the mother of All. It's a national holiday during which people wear blue and the country's lit up with candles and fireworks. 


In Peru, the indigenous Andean population celebrates the gifts of Mother Earth, or Pachamama, in early August. Pachamama is an ancient mythological goddess beloved by many indigenous Andean populations. Mythology cites Pachamama as the cause of earthquakes and bringer of fertility. Her special worship day is called Martes de Challa.


In Nepal, they celebrate the memories of deceased mothers. To honour them, the tradition consists of going in pilgrimage in the lakes Mata Tirtha.


In the Middle-East, it was Mustafa Amin, Egyptian journalist who introduced mother's day in his country, drawing inspiration form the story of a widow whose sacrifices were ignored by her son after he became a doctor. Amin promoted the celebration of mother's day on March 21st, which was celebrated for the first time in 1957.


In Ethiopia, it's at the end of the rainy season (October/November) that a large family celebration, the Anthrost, takes place. Daughters bring vegetables and cheese while sons bring the meat. 


In India, a 10-day festival known as the Durga Puja is celebrated each October to honor Durga, the goddess of mothers. The celebration is thought to date back to the sixteenth century and is considered both a religious ceremony and a time for family reunions which are prepared for weeks with food, gifts and colourful decorations to their homes.


In ex-Yugolslavia areas, Mother’s Day takes place in December and is part of a series of holidays including Children’s Day and Father’s Day. All three holidays take place on consecutive Sundays and require lots of rope! On Children’s Day, children are tied up and must agree to behave before they are unbound. On Mother’s Day, it is the mother’s turn to be tied up, where she will remain until she supplies tasty treats and small gifts to her children. Finally it is father’s turn. The dads are tied up with rope until they give their families Christmas gifts.


In Mexico, mother’s day is a big deal. While the day may involve treating mum to dinner and flowers, the day will begin with a morning serenade of the song “Las Mananitas” from mariachi singers:“Awaken, my dear, awaken/ and see that the day has dawned/ now the little birds are singing/ and the moon has set.” Listen to this beautiful serenade:


In Bolivia, during their independance war from Spain in the 19th century, as Bolivian soldiers were decimated on the battlefields, one group of women from Cochabamba came together, and on May 27th, fought the Spanish army on Coronilla Hill. Though hundreds died in battle, the day of the "heroines of Coronilla" was instated as national Mother's day in 1920 as a tribute to these brave women's feat. 

In conclusion, even though our modern celebrations display an undeniable marketing edge, the origins of Mother's Day convey a higher level of nobility aimed at celebrating the inherent qualities of women, particularly mothers. 

Learn even more! Read our blog: Origins of Mother's Day


So, what are the best mother's day gifts?

Well, ways to celebrate with gifts for mom this day are not scarce: carnations, flowers in general, festivals, family reunions...a simple "I Love you" is often the best gift of all.

If your choice is to offer her something special for her day, why not go for mother's day gifts that are handmade by artisans all over the world, many of whom are mothers themselves?

Here at Latitudes, you will find a wealth of gift ideas from worldwide in which the topic of motherhood is celebrated through exclusive and masterful arts and crafts.

Discover here our entire collection of inspiring mother's day gifts



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L'Express.- Fête des mères, origines, dates, symboles...

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