Posted: May 07, 2012 10:00 AM
People all over the world take time out each year to shower their mothers with love. But how exactly is Mother’s Day celebrated in other cultures? Take a trip with us around the globe and discover the many different ways mothers are honored and cherished.


Feliz Dia de las Madres! Mother's Day in Mexico begins on the evening before May 10 each year. Grown sons and daughters gather in the family home to spend time with their mother and show their love. On Mother’s Day morning, moms wake up to the sweet sound of their children singing "Las Mananitas," a traditional song that is also sung on birthdays. The Catholic Church holds a special mass in honor of mothers and serves traditional foods like atole and tamales to all the local moms. Children give their moms homemade or store bought gifts and some schools even put on special Mother's Day presentations with skits, poems and songs.

South Africa

In South Africa, people take time on Mother's Day to thank their moms, grandmas and even mother figures for their love, patience, self-sacrifice and devotion. Throughout the entire day, children pamper their mothers by cooking, cleaning, serving tea, offering presents and showering their moms with affection. Children wear carnations on their clothes in honor of their moms. Red and pink carnations are worn for mothers who are living, while white are worn for moms who have passed on.


After World War I, the government of France was concerned about the low birth rate and began to honor moms of large families by handing out medals. Mother's Day became an official holiday after WWII and the traditional gift is now a flower-shaped cake. Families gather for a tasty brunch or big dinner and shower their moms with gifts and cards.


“Haha no Hi!” It’s Mother's Day in Japan. The tradition of celebrating motherhood in Japan dates to the Showa period, when the birthday of the Empress Kojun was ritually celebrated on March 6. Nowadays, Mother's Day is celebrated with a festival on the second Sunday in May. The most common gift to give moms is red carnations which fill the shops and grocery stores. Other traditional gifts include red roses, kimonos, mom and baby kokeshi dolls and cards. Children also make homemade crafts and drawings to honor their moms.


In Ethiopia, Mother's Day is celebrated with a three-day fall festival called Antrosht. Daughters and sons head home to celebrate, bringing traditional foods to cook into a special Mother's Day meal. Girls provide butter, cheese, vegetables and spices, while the boys bring a lamb or bull. Everyone gets involved in the joyous celebration. Moms and daughters anoint their faces with butter and dance while the men sings songs and everyone listens to stories about family ancestors.


Unlike most of the South American Mother's Day celebrations which happen in May, Argentinians celebrate on the third Sunday in October. Children make homemade gifts and crafts at school to bring home to their mothers and oftentimes recite poetry as a special surprise. Families gather in the afternoon for a big Mother's Day dinner, where everyone pitches in to cook while the moms sit back and relax.

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