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Mother, Mom, Mère

How the celebration of Mother's Day differs around the world

Lindsey Katsaros, News Editor

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On the Second Sunday in May, households across the United States commemorate their mothers with relaxing day off. Younger children will spoil their Mothers with homemade gifts, while older kids often choose to buy their gifts. While countries around the world spend the day honoring their Mothers, they celebrate the day with their own set of traditions.

In the United Kingdom, Mother’s day is celebrated similar to the United States, but on a different day. Mother’s day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Since Lent is not a fixed date, the exact date of Mother’s Day varies each year. Children will often buy their mothers gifts. Flowers typically reach their maximum sale during this time. The most popular type of flower to buy for mothers in Great Britain are carnations and chrysanthemums. It is also tradition to make a ‘Simnel Cake,’ which is a light fruit cake with layers of almond paste and marzipan.

In Mexico, Mother’s day is celebrated on a fixed date, May 10. On this day, the churches throughout the country organise a special mass to celebrate Mothers. During mass, the orchestra plays festive music and food, such as tamales, are distributed. In schools, younger children will prepare skits and songs for their mothers to come watch.

Rather than a single Sunday, Ethiopia celebrates Mother’s of the course of three days around the same time as the United States. This three day feast is known as ‘Antrosht.’ They celebrate with massive meals surrounded by their friends and family. The meal will often consist of traditional foods like hash. The task of bringing the ingredients is divided between the girls and the boys. While the boys bring the lamb and the bull, the girls bring the vegetables, butter, spices, and cheese. The Mother’s will then prepare the food for everyone to enjoy.  After dinner, each Mother and Daughter will rub each others face with butter as a traditional ritual. Later on, everyone will gather to sing songs and dance. This cycle repeats over the course of three days.

In France, the idea of celebrating Mothers originated in the early 1800’s because of Napoleon, but it was not celebrated because many people did not believe the concept of the holiday was feasible. After World War 1, the american tradition of celebrating Mother’s spread to France.  Now, families across France celebrate their mothers on the last Sunday of May. Kids often write poems and stories for their Mother. They also spend the day outside at a garden or on a terrace with family, friends, and delicious food.

Mother’s day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in Peru. In Peru, families go the extra mile by planning trips and dinners throughout the week leading up to Mother’s day. Typically, many places will be open for free as a way for families to enjoy a fun day together. On Mother’s day, families will attend a mass that honors Mother’s for their hard work. Statistical data shows that 92% of the country celebrates the holiday, which is a testament to how much families respect their mothers.


Although each country has its own unique tradition, they all hope to thank their Mothers for everything they have done for their family. Beyond the gifts and the food, it is important to show your appreciation towards your Mother.

Which country has Mother's Day traditions most similar to yours?

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The student news site of Oakton High School
Mother, Mom, Mère