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30 Mother’s Day Traditions Around The World (Food, Gifts & Events)

Mothers Day With Child And Card

Mother’s Day, a widely cherished event, transcends geographical and cultural distinctions, becoming a global celebration of the enduring bond between mothers and their children. Across the world, this day celebration is marked with heartfelt traditions, reflecting the diverse ways societies honour and celebrate mothers. Whether by giving a flower bouquet, preparing special meals, or participating in meaningful ceremonies, Mother’s Day gifts and traditions offer a captivating look into the varied cultural landscapes and the universal expression of love and gratitude for mothers everywhere.

In 1914, Anna Jarvis established this special occasion to honour all mothers. Read the full History of Mother’s Day.


Woman Holding Austrlaia Flag

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May (aligning with the United States and many other countries)

Mother’s Day in Australia is also celebrated on the same day as many other countries worldwide. It typically involves breakfast in bed, handmade cards from children, and family gatherings. Australians often express their appreciation by giving gifts such as flowers, chocolates, and jewellery. A common tradition is wearing a chrysanthemum, a popular and traditional flower, as it is in season during May, and its name ends in “mum,” a sweet nod to “mum” or mother. Special menus in restaurants are standard, as many families prefer to dine out, making it one of the busiest days for the hospitality industry. Regarding festivities, schools and communities often organise events or craft activities leading up to the day, allowing children to create personalised gifts for their mothers.

Typical Things Aussies Give To Mum

  • Flowers, particularly chrysanthemums, are particularly popular as they are in season, and their names end with “mum.”
  • Pampering gifts like spa vouchers or luxury bath products.
  • Handmade or personalised items showing thought and care.

Special Things Aussies Do For Mum

  • Cook breakfast in bed or a special meal to celebrate.
  • Family outings to the beach, park, or her favourite spot.
  • Spend quality time together, watching a movie or playing games at home, embodying the essence of friendship day within the familial context.

United Kingdom

Woman Holding The Uk Flag

Celebrates On: Fourth Sunday of Lent

In the United Kingdom, Mothering Sunday celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, is a day steeped in history and tradition and is originally tied to the Christian practice of visiting the ‘mother church’. Over the centuries, it has evolved into a secular celebration, affectionately known as Mother’s Day, dedicated to honouring and expressing gratitude to mothers. This day celebrates mothers’ enduring love and sacrifices and remains significant for family reunions, reflective of the country’s rich cultural heritage and unique traditions.

Typical Things Brits Give To Mum

  • Floral Tributes: Spring flowers, such as daffodils and tulips, are traditional gifts, symbolising the renewal and beauty of the season. A popular flower choice often includes a white flower or any that signifies the purity and strength of maternal love.
  • Confectionery and Baked Goods: Chocolates and the Simnel cake, a light fruitcake adorned with marzipan balls, are customary, reflecting the relaxation of Lenten fasting and the sweet nature of the celebration.
  • Handmade and Personalised Gifts: Cards, crafts, and personalised items like jewellery or photo albums hold sentimental value and are cherished tokens of appreciation, showing the different ways to celebrate this special day.

Special Things Brits Do For Mum

  • Culinary Delights: Preparing a homemade Sunday roast or afternoon tea allows mothers to take a break from their daily work and enjoy the celebration.
  • Family Outings: Visiting gardens and historical sites or having family reunions, which enable quality time and create memories, are similar traditions to those celebrated in many countries.
  • Expressive Tokens: Writing heartfelt cards or poems, and in some families, continuing the tradition of baking a Simnel cake, symbolising the nurturing aspect of motherhood, shows the deep-rooted day traditions worldwide.


Thai Woman Holding Flag

Celebrates On: August 12

In Thailand, this special occasion is not just a familial celebration but a national homage to motherhood. It is celebrated on the birthday of Queen Sirikit, revered as the mother of the nation. The entire country sparkles in blue, reflecting the Queen’s colour and symbolising respect and adoration for her and all mothers. This day merges cultural reverence with familial love, where the entire nation participates in a day of gratitude and celebration, marking the profound impact of mothers and mother figures across the country.

Typical Things Thais Give To Mum

  • Jasmine Flowers: In Thailand, jasmine garlands or bouquets symbolise maternal love and respect. They are traditional gifts, embodying purity and gentleness, similar to how other countries might send flowers to celebrate mothers.
  • Handmade Cards and Gifts: Reflecting personal gratitude and affection, handmade cards and gifts are common offerings from children to their mothers. They are often created during school-hosted ceremonies, showcasing the unique traditions that day in Thailand.

Special Things Thais Do For Mum

  • Alms-Giving and Religious Ceremonies: The day commences with giving alms to monks, a practice imbued with spiritual significance, reflecting the deep-rooted Buddhist traditions in Thai culture.
  • Respectful Traditions: In a poignant display of reverence, children kneel at their mothers’ feet to express their love and gratitude, often in school-organised events, illustrating the profound day traditions worldwide.
  • Communal and Family Celebrations: Public and family gatherings are widespread, with homes and public spaces decorated with portraits of the Queen Mother and national flags. Many families dine out, taking advantage of special Mother’s Day promotions in restaurants and hotels, making it a day of communal joy and familial bonding.


Mexican Woman And Flag

Celebrates On: May 10

Día de las Madres,” celebrated on the second Sunday in May, is a cherished and vibrant tradition in Mexico. This occasion is a cornerstone of Mexican culture, where mothers are honoured with love, music, and familial joy. Mother’s Day in Mexico profoundly expresses the cultural reverence for motherhood. It is filled with heartfelt gestures, traditional music, and a gastronomic feast, making it a deeply significant and joyous occasion in Mexican society.

Typical Things Mexicans Give To Mum

  • Floral Tributes: Roses, often considered the Mother’s Day flower, are particularly popular. They embody beauty and love and are a staple gift to express gratitude and respect. Handcrafted and
  • Luxury Gifts: Perfumes, jewellery, and locally made items like pottery or textiles are common luxury gifts, reflecting both the traditional and contemporary appreciation for mothers.
  • Gourmet Treats: Traditional sweets and dishes play a significant role in the celebrations, with families often indulging in special Mexican meals. Thus, every gift reflects cultural value.

Special Things Mexicans Do For Mum

  • Musical Serenades: The day often starts with “Las Mañanitas,” sung to mothers by their families, sometimes accompanied by mariachi bands. This tradition showcases unique Mother’s Day traditions in Mexico.
  • Culinary Celebrations: Homemade dishes such as mole, pozole, enchiladas, and beef barbacoa are favourites. Many families gather for a large meal either at home or in a restaurant to celebrate this day in a way that’s also traditional in other countries worldwide.
  • Community and School Celebrations: Schools and communities hold special events and performances, showcasing the societal importance of mothers and the collective respect and love they command, contributing to its growth into a popular globally celebreation.


Indian Woman Child Flag

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May

Although a relatively new phenomenon, Mother’s Day in India celebrated on the second Sunday in May, has quickly embedded itself into the cultural landscape and is enthusiastically celebrated. This celebration blends global influence and local tradition, reflecting the nation’s adaptability and deep respect for maternal figures. In India, this event has transcended its Western origins, evolving into a celebration that honours the universal virtues of motherhood while embracing the unique fabric of Indian society.

Typical Things Indians Give To Mum

  • Traditional and Modern Gifts: From sarees and gold jewellery to modern handicrafts and trendy watches, the gifts span the spectrum of India’s rich cultural heritage and contemporary trends, mirroring the favourite Mother’s Day presents in other cultures.
  • Culinary Delights: Eggless cakes, such as pineapple or fresh fruit cakes, and assorted Indian sweets like ladoos and barfis are popular, along with dry fruit platters. These celebrate India’s gastronomic diversity and embody a unique tradition.
  • Decorative and Practical Items: Home decor pieces like Urlis and planters, handloom bedspreads, and beaded dream catchers are thoughtful gifts that add to the festivity, showing how traditions worldwide celebrate.

Special Things Indians Do For Mum

  • Family and Culinary Celebrations: Children often take over cooking duties to prepare homemade delicacies, allowing mothers to relax. Family gatherings are characterised by shared meals and sweets, similar to Mother’s Day celebrations around the globe.
  • School and Community Events: Cultural performances, plays, and school-organised activities underscore the educational sector’s involvement in honouring mothers, reflecting the global acknowledgment of the day’s significance.
  • Commercial and Reflective Observances: In urban centres, the day is marked by commercial promotions and restaurant offers, paralleled by reflective appreciations of mothers’ sacrifices and guidance across the country. These celebrations embody the spirit of Mother’s Day worldwide.


Japanese Woman And Child

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May

In Japan, “Haha no Hi” (Mother’s Day) is celebrated with profound affection and respect, embodying the deep-seated cultural reverence for mothers. The day is an opportunity to honour maternal bonds and express heartfelt appreciation, strengthening family connections through various time-honoured traditions. While reflecting global influences, Mother’s Day in Japan retains unique cultural attributes marked by a blend of traditional values, familial affection, and societal respect for mothers.

Typical Things Japanese Give To Mum

  • Carnations and Flowers: Red carnations are particularly favoured, symbolising a mother’s purity and endurance, while white ones pay homage to those who have passed away.
  • Health and Wellness Gifts: Supplements and wellness products reflect the societal value placed on a mother’s health and well-being.
  • Handmade Crafts and Art: Children’s crafts, such as noodle necklaces or clay projects, along with handwritten cards, are tokens of personal gratitude and love.

Special Things Japanese Do For Mum

  • Culinary Delights: Families prepare special meals, often egg-based dishes like Oyakodon, Chawanmushi, or Tamagoyaki, which are favourites and hold significance in the Japanese culinary tradition.
  • Educational and Community Involvement: Schools play a significant role in organizing events and guiding students to create gifts and art projects, while children learn to articulate their appreciation through words and deeds.
  • Quality Time and Leisure Activities: Family outings to parks or cultural sites offer mothers a leisurely day. At the same time, children often take on household chores, providing a restful experience for their mothers.


Ethiopian Woman Child Flag

Celebrates On: Mid-Fall (varies each year, during the Antrosht festival)

In Ethiopia, this Mothering Sunday is synonymously celebrated with the Antrosht festival. This vibrant three-day event occurs in the fall, usually in October or November, marking the end of the rainy season. This festival profoundly celebrates motherhood and family unity, deeply rooted in Ethiopian culture. Antrosht is a time for feasting and for families to bond, reminisce, and pay homage to the matriarchal figures who shaped their lives. It’s a festival where the entire community comes together, showcasing the central role of mothers in Ethiopian social and familial structures.

Typical Things Ethiopians Give To Mum

  • Cultural Attire and Artifacts: The Habesha Kemis, handwoven baskets, and other cultural artifacts are common gifts, representing the rich heritage and artistry of Ethiopia.
  • Coffee Ceremony Participation: Coffee, integral to Ethiopian culture, plays a significant role, with the traditional coffee ceremony being a focal point of family gatherings.

Special Things Ethiopians Do For Mum

  • Preparation of Festive Meals: The celebratory feast, during which daughters contribute vegetables, cheese, butter, and spices and sons bring meat, culminates in the mother preparing the traditional Ethiopian hash dish, which is shared joyously among family members.
  • Rituals of Anointment and Celebration: After the meal, the festivities continue with singing and dancing. Mothers and daughters anoint each other’s faces and chests with butter while men sing songs honouring the family and Ethiopian heroes throughout the three-day celebration.


Russian Woman And Flag

Celebrates On: Last Sunday in November

Established in 1998 during Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, is a heartfelt observance on the last Sunday of November. It honours maternal dedication and aims to elevate the social stature of motherhood, celebrating the indelible influence mothers have on their families and society. Mother’s Day in Russia is a subdued yet profound observance, focusing on familial bonds and the pivotal role of mothers. It’s a day marked by personal gestures of love, communal meals, and cultural engagements, all aimed at honouring motherhood’s nurturing and sacrificial spirit.

Typical Things Russians Give To Mum

  • Emotional and Traditional Gifts: Flowers, often accompanied by heartfelt messages, are a staple, symbolising the deep emotional bond between mothers and their children.
  • Handmade Tokens: Children’s crafts and handmade cards, replete with small affectionate quotes, are cherished gifts that reflect personal connection and gratitude.
  • Luxury Items: Perfumes or cosmetic sets are popular luxury gifts, signifying mothers’ special status on this day.

Special Things Russians Do For Mum

  • Culinary Celebrations: Children and families prepare delicious meals, sometimes opting to dine out in restaurants, making the day a gastronomic delight and a break from the norm for mothers.
  • Cultural Outings and Performances: Family outings to theatres, ballets, or exhibitions, and school-hosted concerts or plays dedicated to mothers underscore the cultural aspect of the celebration.


French Mother Flag

Celebrates On: Last Sunday in May

In France, “Fête des Mères” is a heartfelt celebration emphasising family unity and maternal honour. The day is characterised by festive meals and the giving of thoughtful gifts, reflecting both traditional customs and the contemporary French spirit. Mother’s Day in France is not just a family holiday but a nationwide recognition of the pivotal role of mothers, celebrated with a blend of personal affection, communal festivities, and official commendations.

Typical Things French Give To Mum

  • Varied and Elegant Gifts: Perfumes, cosmetics, and chic accessories like scarves or handbags are popular, alongside gourmet chocolates and pastries, showcasing France’s renowned luxury industries.
  • Handmade and Artistic Tokens: Children often create handmade crafts like pasta necklaces, while mothers cherish artistic gifts like paintings or handcrafted jewellery.

Special Things French Do For Mum

  • Gastronomic Delights: The celebration typically revolves around a luxurious Sunday lunch or dinner at home with family or at a fine restaurant featuring dishes favoured by the mother.
  • Outdoor Pleasures: Picnics in the countryside or visits to vineyards offer a scenic backdrop for family gatherings, embracing France’s picturesque landscapes.

Additionally, in a tradition dating back to the early 20th century, the French government honours mothers of large families with the “Médaille de la Famille,” recognising their contributions to society. This official acknowledgment underlines the societal respect for motherhood in France.


Brazil Flag With Mother

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May

In Brazil, “Dia das Mães” is a jubilant and significant occasion deeply embedded in the nation’s cultural fabric. It ranks as one of the biggest holidays, with the entire country engaging in extensive preparations and celebrations that honour the matriarchal figures of families. Mother’s Day in Brazil is more than just a personal celebration; it’s a societal event honouring the tireless efforts and love of mothers and maternal figures nationwide, blending traditional and modern practices in a festive, communal spirit.

Typical Things Brazilians Give To Mum

  • Floral Gifts: Orchids, roses, and other exotic blooms are favoured, reflecting Brazil’s status as a leading cultivator of flowers.
  • Fashion and Beauty: Vibrant handcrafted jewellery, clothing, and beauty treatments or spa days are popular, celebrating mothers’ individuality and well-being.
  • Gourmet Delights: Homemade desserts like pavê or passion fruit mousse are often prepared with love, adding a sweet touch to the familial feast.

Special Things Brazilians Do For Mum

  • Religious Observance: Many families begin the day with Mass, underscoring the nation’s strong Catholic heritage and the spiritual dimension of the celebration.
  • Outdoor Celebrations: Barbecues, picnics, and nature trips, especially to places like the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro, are common, showcasing Brazilians’ love for outdoor gatherings.
  • Multi-generational Festivities: The day is marked by large family lunches and gatherings, musical tributes, and storytelling, with grandmothers, aunts, and other maternal figures embraced in the celebration.


Egyptian Mother Flag

Celebrates On: March 21 (coinciding with the first day of spring)

Mother’s Day in Egypt, celebrated on March 21, marks a significant cultural event that aligns with the advent of spring. It’s a day when the nation collectively honours and shows appreciation for the maternal figures in their lives. Mother’s Day in Egypt is a heartfelt tribute to mothers, combining ancient traditions and modern practices. It is celebrated enthusiastically across the country, creating an atmosphere of joy and communal appreciation.

Typical Things Egyptians Give To Mum

  • Jewellery and Flowers: Gold jewellery is a traditional gift symbolising love and respect, while flowers, especially lilies and roses, continue the ancient tradition of honouring motherhood.
  • Sweets and Pastries: Delicacies like Kunafa, Basbousa, and high-quality fruits and cookies are common, reflecting the country’s rich culinary heritage.

Special Things Egyptians Do For Mum

  • Pampering and Recognition: Mothers are treated like queens, given a day of rest from household duties, with family members stepping in to take over chores.
  • Expressions of Love: Children express their love and gratitude through poems, letters, or cards, and the celebration often extends to female teachers and other influential women.
  • Family Celebrations and Honors: A feast with Egyptian delicacies marks the family gatherings, and in a broader societal context, an “ideal mother” is honoured annually, showcasing the national respect for motherhood.


Norwegian Mother And Flag

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in February

In Norway, “Morsdag” is a winter celebration that warms the heart, bringing families together to honour and appreciate mothers. Initiated by Dorothea Schjoldager and Karen Platou, the first official celebration took place in 1919, evolving into a cherished national tradition. Mother’s Day in Norway is more than a family gathering; it’s a nationwide acknowledgment of mothers’ vital roles, celebrated with intimate, affectionate gestures and inclusive recognition of various maternal figures.

Typical Things Norwegians Give To Mum

  • Handmade and Heartfelt Gifts: Crafts, knitted items, and handcrafted cards showcase Norway’s rich artisanal heritage and the personal touch of the givers.
  • Flowers and Chocolates: These classic gifts symbolise love and sweetness in the relationship between mothers and their children.
  • Natural and Literary Gifts: Skincare products reflecting Norway’s health focus and books by Norwegian authors are thoughtful presents.

Special Things Norwegians Do For Mum

  • Breakfast in Bed: A traditional start to the day with coffee, baked goods, and a cozy family atmosphere.
  • Family Outings and Activities: Whether it’s a winter hike, skiing, or a cultural excursion, activities are centred around the mother’s preferences.
  • Inclusive Celebrations: The day honours all mother figures, including adoptive, foster, and step-mothers, celebrating the diverse forms of motherhood in Norwegian society.


Italian Woman Flag

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May

In Italy, “Festa della Mamma” celebrates deeply with the nation’s familial and cultural ethos. This day is an expression of gratitude and love, honouring the indispensable role of mothers in Italian families and society.

Typical Things Italians Give To Mum

  • Floral Tributes: Roses and peonies are popular choices, symbolising beauty and love in Italian culture.
  • Gourmet Delights and Artisan Gifts: Fine olive oil, pasta, artisanal cheeses, and handcrafted ceramics or glassware reflect the country’s rich culinary and artisan traditions.
  • Personalised Tokens: Handwritten poems, homemade cards, and crafts demonstrate personal affection and appreciation.

Special Things Italians Do For Mum

  • Morning Pampering: The day often starts with breakfast pastries and coffee, ensuring mothers begin their day relaxed and cared for.
  • No Housework Rule: Mothers are relieved of household chores and cooking, allowing them to enjoy the celebrations fully.
  • Festive Meals and Family Togetherness: Whether at home or dining out, families come together for a special meal, often ending with a celebratory cake, emphasising leisure and familial bonds.
  • Wellness and Leisure: Offering spa treatments or wellness experiences as gifts is a common way to pamper mothers, making them feel cherished and valued.


Indonesian Woman And Flag

Celebrates On: December 22

Mother’s Day in Indonesia, or “Hari Ibu,” is a profound observance that extends beyond celebrating motherhood and embraces the broader role of women in Indonesian society. Commemorating the first Indonesian Women’s Congress in 1928, the day reflects women’s empowerment and contributions to the nation’s development.

Typical Things Indonesians Give To Mums and Women:

  • Floral Tributes: Flowers like orchids, roses, and lilies are common gifts, symbolising love and appreciation for the women in their lives.
  • Cultural and Personal Gifts: Handwoven batik, personalised mugs, and wellness products like aromatic oils are favoured, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and personal care traditions.

Special Things Indonesians Do For Women and Mums:

  • Ceremonial and Communal Celebrations: Family reunions, communal feasts, and public events focus on honouring women, with activities like foot-washing ceremonies to foster familial bonds.
  • Expressions of Gratitude: Children and fathers often take over household chores, allowing mothers a day of rest, and communities engage in contests and games to celebrate women’s roles.


Argentina Women Flag

Celebrates On: Third Sunday in October

Mother’s Day in Argentina, or “Día de la Madre,” is a vibrant celebration of matriarchal importance, brimming with warmth and familial unity. Set in the Argentine spring, the day facilitates outdoor activities like picnics and barbecues, allowing families to revel in the pleasant weather.

Typical Things Argentinians Give To Mum

  • Diverse and Thoughtful Gifts: Alongside traditional crafts and jewellery, Argentines often give culturally rich items like yerba mate gourds, artisanal chocolates, and handcrafted accessories, reflecting the country’s diverse cultural heritage.
  • Floral Affections: Pink carnations, roses, gerberas, orchids, tulips, and lilies are popular, symbolising the love and appreciation of mothers.

Special Things Argentinians Do For Mum

  • Family Asado: The day is often marked by a family asado, where husbands and family members might take the lead in cooking to give mothers a day of relaxation.
  • Cultural Celebrations: Families may attend tango shows musical events, or organise special parties and fancy dinners, emphasising the day’s festive nature.
  • Memories and Moments: Creating photo albums or collages to capture family memories is a common way to honour the bond and legacy of mothers in Argentine families.


Sweden Mother With Flag

Celebrates On: Last Sunday in May

Mother’s Day in Sweden, or “Mors Dag,” celebrates appreciation and quiet reflection. Established in 1919 by Cecilia Bååth-Holmberg, this day has grown into a popular celebration, embodying the Swedish values of simplicity and family cohesion.

Typical Things Swedes Give To Mum

  • Floral Tributes: Spring blooms, such as tulips or lilacs, are common, symbolising the freshness and beauty of the season.
  • Eco-Friendly and Handcrafted Gifts: Reflecting Sweden’s environmental consciousness, eco-friendly gifts or handmade home decor items are favoured.
  • Books and Personal Letters: Literature and heartfelt letters or postcards, especially from those afar, convey love and respect.

Special Things Swedes Do For Mum

  • Morning Celebration with Songs: Children often start the day by singing to their mother and serving her coffee and bread in bed, a tradition symbolising the beginning of the festive day.
  • Family Activities: Outdoor activities like picnics or walks and cultural visits to places like Stockholm’s archipelago or Djurgården Park are common.
  • Relieving Duties and Honoring: Mothers are typically relieved of all housework for the day, and families may hold a small ceremony to honour their contributions.


Nepalese Mother Fields Flag

Celebrates On: New moon day in the month of Baisakh (April/May)

Mother’s Day in Nepal, known as “Mata Tirtha Aunsi,” has a unique and spiritual significance, blending respect for motherhood with ancient traditions. Today, those whose mothers have passed make pilgrimages to sacred ponds, known as “Mata Tirtha,” to perform memorial ceremonies. For those with living mothers, the day is an opportunity to show their appreciation through special acts of service and gifts, such as clothing or jewellery. The celebration is deeply rooted in the Hindu culture, with rituals and ceremonies reinforcing the familial bonds and the revered status of mothers in Nepalese society.

Typical Things Nepalese Give To Mum

  • Diverse Gifts: From traditional attire like silk saris to modern presents such as books, health devices, and kitchenware, the range of gifts reflects the multifaceted nature of expressing love and respect.
  • Spiritual and Personal Items: Jewelry, prayer items, god statues, and religious gifts signify the spiritual heritage and personal connections within families.

Special Things Nepalese Do For Mum

  • Ceremonial Acts and Pilgrimages: For those remembering mothers who have passed away, pilgrimages to the sacred pond at Mata Tirtha involve rituals like taking a holy bath, offering tarpan and sida, with a belief in the mystical vision of their mother’s face in the waters.
  • Homage and Appreciation: Families with living mothers celebrate with home-cooked meals, gift-giving, and acts of service, from massages to household chores, epitomising filial devotion and respect.


Spanish Woman With Flag

Celebrates On: First Sunday in May

In Spain, Mother’s Day, or “Día de la Madre,” is a festive and joyful occasion, reflecting the country’s strong family-oriented culture. The day is characterised by family gatherings, where mothers are treated to meals, often cooked by other family members, allowing them to relax and be pampered. Spanish children typically present their mothers with handmade gifts and cards, and it’s common for poems and songs to be shared, expressing love and gratitude. The celebration is a vibrant blend of modern and traditional practices, focusing on togetherness, appreciation, and the integral role of the mother in the Spanish home.

Typical Things Spaniards Give To Mum

  • Flowers and Jewelry: Roses are particularly favoured, symbolising love and respect, while jewellery is a treasured gift, reflecting thoughtfulness and affection.
  • Gourmet Delicacies and Homemade Treats: Gift baskets filled with Spanish delicacies or freshly baked cookies and cakes are common, showcasing Spain’s rich culinary tradition.
  • Perfumes and Fashion Accessories: These gifts reflect the stylish nature of Spanish culture and are popular for mothers.

Special Things Spaniards Do For Mum

  • Breakfast in Bed: Starting the day by serving mothers a special breakfast in bed is a beloved tradition, allowing them to relax and feel cherished.
  • Family Lunch and Outings: Preparing a family lunch with traditional dishes, like paella, or enjoying outings to the beach, park, or cultural sites emphasises togetherness.
  • Communication and Artistry: Phone or video calls to mothers, particularly for those who cannot celebrate together, and handmade cards or drawings from children are heartfelt ways to express love and gratitude.

South Korea

South Korean Woman Flag

Celebrates On: May 8

In South Korea, Mother’s Day, known as “Eobeoinal,” coincides with Parents’ Day, simultaneously emphasising respect for both parents. The day is marked by giving carnations or red roses to parents as a symbol of gratitude and love. Children often prepare special performances, including singing and dancing, to entertain and honour their parents. It’s also common for them to take on household chores and treat their parents to a special meal or a day out. The celebration blends modern and traditional elements, emphasising filial piety, a fundamental value in Korean culture.

Typical Things Koreans Give To Parents:

  • Health supplements or traditional Korean ginseng, valuing parental health.
  • Red ginseng tea or honey is popular for its health benefits.
  • Carnations or roses symbolise respect and gratitude.

Special Things Koreans Do For Parents:

  • Children perform filial duties, like helping with household chores or giving a massage.
  • Family gatherings with a special meal often feature the parents’ favourite dishes.
  • Organising a family outing or a cultural experience, such as a visit to a historical site.


Panama Mother With Flag

Celebrates On: December 8

Mother’s Day coincides with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Panama, making it a deeply revered holiday celebrated with religious fervour and familial love. As one of the country’s most significant holidays, it sees widespread observance with schools and businesses closing, allowing for full familial participation in the day’s activities.

Typical Things Panamanians Give To Mum

  • Flowers and Chocolates: Orchids, other tropical flowers, and chocolates are traditional gifts that express love and appreciation.
  • Handcrafted Molas: These vibrant fabrics, made by the indigenous Kuna people, are a popular and culturally significant gift.
  • Personal Tokens of Appreciation: Home-cooked meals, thank-you letters, and heartfelt poems are common, emphasising personal sentiment.

Special Things Panamanians Do For Mum

  • Religious and Family Gatherings: The day often begins with church services to honour the Virgin Mary and mothers, followed by communal meals or gatherings.
  • Rest and Recognition: Mothers typically enjoy a day off from household chores, with family members taking over responsibilities to honour them.
  • Festive Celebrations: Family feasts featuring dishes like sancocho or tamales are common, and many communities organise musical serenades or fireworks displays in the evening.


Belgium Flag And Woman

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May (except in Antwerp, where it is celebrated on August 15)

In Belgium, Mother’s Day is a heartfelt expression of appreciation, celebrated with family bonding and various regional traditions. While most of the country observes this day on the second Sunday in May, Antwerp has its unique celebration on August 15, coinciding with the name day of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Assumption Day.

Typical Things Belgians Give To Mum

  • Chocolates: Belgium’s world-renowned chocolates are a favourite gift, symbolising the sweetness of the mother-child bond.
  • Flowers: Seasonal blooms, like tulips or daisies, are popular, embodying the vibrant spirit of spring and motherhood.

Special Things Belgians Do For Mum

  • Culinary Celebrations: Families might prepare a special brunch or dinner at home featuring Belgian delicacies like waffles, chocolates, or mussels.
  • Outdoor and Cultural Activities: Belgians celebrate the day by enjoying a bike tour in Antwerp, visiting cultural sites, or experiencing the blooming splendour at Floraliën Ghent.
  • Creative and Personal Gestures: Handmade cards or crafts remain a cherished tradition, showcasing personal affection and creativity.


Iranian Woman Holding Flag

Celebrates On: 20 Jumada al-Thani (Islamic calendar), marking the birthday of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad

Mother’s Day in Iran is a deeply spiritual and culturally significant occasion. It coincides with the birthday of Fatimah, the revered daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. This day is observed with profound reverence, highlighting the esteemed role of mothers in Iranian society and the broader Islamic world. Celebrated according to the Islamic lunar calendar, Mother’s Day in Iran, on the 20th of Jumada al-Thani, varies each year on the Gregorian calendar. This day is a celebration of motherhood and a deep acknowledgment of the virtues of care, sacrifice, and respect that mothers embody in the Iranian culture and Islamic tradition.

Typical Things Iranians Give To Mum

  • Flowers (“gol” ): Flowers are a traditional gift, symbolising love, respect, and the blooming of life. They also reflect the beauty and nurturing nature of mothers.
  • Jewellery: Simple yet meaningful pieces like earrings or necklaces are commonly gifted, often featuring traditional Persian designs or motifs.

Special Things Iranians Do For Mum

  • Family Meals and Outings: Celebrations include preparing special meals at home or dining at the mother’s favourite restaurant, emphasising familial bonds and appreciation.
  • Poetry and Recitations: Poetry readings or singing traditional songs in honour of mothers are significant, reflecting Iran’s rich literary and cultural heritage.
  • Visits and Remembrances: It is common for those whose mothers have passed away to visit their tombs to lay flowers and pay respects.


Poland Flag With Woman

Celebrates On: May 26

Mother’s Day, or “Dzień Matki,” is filled with familial love and respect in Poland. It’s customary for children to present their mothers with hand-picked flowers, often lilacs or roses, and handmade cards containing poems or heartfelt messages. Schools often host events where children can prepare gifts and performances honouring their mothers. The day is an important family holiday, with gatherings that include traditional Polish meals, emphasising mothers’ appreciation and central role in Polish culture.

Typical Things Poles Give To Mum

  • Flowers, with red roses and carnations, are popular choices.
  • Jewellery, often with amber, is a traditional Polish gemstone.
  • Beauty products or handmade crafts show thought and care.

Special Things Poles Do For Mum

  • Organise a family gathering with a feast of Polish dishes like pierogi or bigos.
  • Children perform songs, poems, or dances, expressing love and gratitude.
  • Take mothers for a walk or a trip to enjoy nature or cultural landmarks.


Portuguese Woman Holding Flag

Celebrates On: First Sunday in May

Mother’s Day in Portugal celebrates family and maternal bonds, known locally as “Dia da Mãe.” The day is marked by family gatherings, with children of all ages returning home to celebrate with their mothers. It’s common for the entire family to attend Mass together, followed by a festive meal, often featuring traditional Portuguese dishes. Children give gifts, flowers, and handmade crafts to their mothers, with schools and community organisations facilitating the creation of these tokens of appreciation. The day emphasises the respect, love, and gratitude that Portuguese culture holds for mothers, highlighting their importance in the fabric of society.

Typical Things Portuguese Give To Mum

  • Flowers, especially carnations, have a significant cultural meaning in Portugal.
  • Portuguese ceramics or other traditional handicrafts.
  • Gourmet foods like olive oil, cheese, or pastries celebrate Portugal’s culinary traditions.

Special Things Portuguese Do For Mum

  • Preparing a family meal, often with seafood or bacalhau as the centrepiece.
  • Family outings to the beach, countryside, or a historical site.
  • Children create and present handmade gifts or performances, showcasing their love.


Greek Woman Flag

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May

In Greece, Mother’s Day is a heartfelt occasion that reflects the country’s deep-rooted respect for motherhood within its strong family-centric culture. While ancient Greece paid homage to motherhood in spring festivals dedicated to Rhea, the “Mother of the Gods,” the contemporary celebration of Mother’s Day occurs on the second Sunday in May, aligning with many other Western countries. Unlike in many Western countries, Mother’s Day in Greece is less commercialised, focusing on the familial bond and the symbolic appreciation of mothers. The tradition of honouring mothers remains, though it is celebrated with a quieter, more personal reverence, often intertwined with the enduring values of Greek society.

Typical Things Greeks Give To Mum

  • Flowers: The most common gifts are flowers, with no particular preference, symbolising love and respect for mothers.
  • Simple yet Meaningful Gifts: While not overly commercial, modest gifts like jewellery or local products may be given, embodying the nurturing nature of mothers.

Special Things Greeks Do For Mum

  • Family Meals: The celebration is often marked by a meal featuring Greek specialties to honour the mother’s role in nurturing and uniting the family.
  • Quality Time Together: Families may spend the day together, enjoying each other’s company in simple gatherings or visits to places of natural beauty.


Vietnamese Woman With Flag

Celebrates On

  1. Second Sunday of May
  2. Sun, 18 Aug: Vu Lan Festival

In Vietnam, the Vu Lan Festival is a significant occasion to honour mothers and ancestors, observed with deep cultural and spiritual significance. This day is a profound expression of filial piety, where Vietnamese people show their gratitude and respect for the sacrifices and contributions of their mothers and forebears. Unlike the more commercial celebrations of Mother’s Day seen elsewhere, the Vu Lan Festival is marked by spiritual rituals and traditional practices. Like every other Western country, Vietnam also celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.

Typical Things Vietnamese Give To Mum During Vu Lan Festival

  • Food Offerings and Incense: Families prepare a feast and burn joss paper and incense in front of their homes to invite the spirits of their ancestors to join them in celebration.
  • Wearing Roses: People wear roses to pagodas and temples, with the colour indicating the status of their mother; red or pink for those whose mothers are alive, and white for those whose mothers have passed away.

Special Things Vietnamese Do For Mum During Vu Lan Festival

  • Prayers and Offerings at Temples: Visiting pagodas and temples to burn incense and pray for peace, harmony, and the well-being of parents and family members is a common practice, expressing love and gratitude.
  • Gifts and Cards: Though less common than the traditional rituals, some Vietnamese also express their appreciation through modern gestures like giving gifts, cards, and heartfelt messages.


Iceland Women Flag

Celebrates On: Second Sunday in May

In Iceland, Mother’s Day, or “Mæðradagurinn,” is a heartfelt celebration of maternal bonds and family unity. Adopted from the American tradition and first celebrated in 1934, this day has become a cherished occasion for expressing love and gratitude towards mothers. Mother’s Day in Iceland is a day of joyous family gatherings, celebrated with love, respect, and the simple pleasures of togetherness. It’s a time when the Icelandic spirit of kinship and appreciation for nature is vividly expressed through various thoughtful gestures and activities.

Typical Things Icelanders Give To Mum

  • Flowers and Chocolates: Reflecting the simplicity and sincerity of the celebration, children often give their mothers wildflowers picked from Iceland’s lush landscapes and chocolates.
  • Handmade Cards: Emphasising the Icelandic value of creativity and personal expression, children create artful cards to express their love and appreciation.
  • Commemorative Items: Since 1969, special commemorative plates released by Danish porcelain companies have become collectible gifts for this occasion.

Special Things Icelanders Do For Mum

  • Family Outings: Icelanders cherish spending time in nature, often hiking or picnicking in the country’s stunning natural settings like hot springs and volcanic fields.
  • Breakfast in Bed: A popular tradition is serving mothers breakfast in bed, allowing them a day of rest and pampering.
  • Cooking Special Meals: Preparing a meal with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, such as fish or lamb, underscores the day’s significance through nurturing and care.


Israeli Women Flag

Celebrates On: Shevat 30 (Jewish calendar), usually in January or February

Mother’s Day in Israel, now broadly celebrated as “Family Day” or “Yom HaMishpacha,” underscores the significance of familial bonds, transcending beyond the exclusive honour of mothers to celebrate the entire family unit. This day is an opportunity for children and adults to express gratitude towards all family members, including parents, grandparents, and siblings, reinforcing the fabric of family connections and Israeli cultural values.

Typical Things Israelis Give To Mum

  • Jewellery and Homeware: Gifts often include jewellery with Jewish symbols and stylish home goods reflecting Israel’s aesthetic and cultural heritage.
  • Flowers and Skincare Products: Bouquets of local flowers and skincare products from the Dead Sea region are common, showcasing Israel’s natural beauty and resources.
  • Gourmet Gift Baskets: These often feature local produce like dates, olive oil, and wine, celebrating the richness of Israeli culinary traditions.

Special Things Israelis Do For Mum

  • Family Activities: The day is marked by picnics or outings to national parks, historical sites, and tree-planting ceremonies, symbolising growth and connection to the land.
  • Household Chores and Crafts: Boys and men often take on household chores to give mothers a break while children create art projects and crafts, demonstrating their love and appreciation.
  • Community and Educational Events: Schools and communities host workshops on family values to strengthen the collective sense of togetherness and cultural identity.


Serbian Women Flag

Celebrates On: March 8 (combined with International Women’s Day)

In Serbia, Mother’s Day is intertwined with International Women’s Day, offering a celebration honouring women and mothers’ significant roles. Heartfelt traditions and modern expressions of gratitude and respect characterise this day. In Serbia, Mother’s Day is a culturally rich occasion, blending traditional practices with modern festivities, where families and communities come together to express their love and admiration for mothers and their indispensable role in society.

Typical Things Serbians Give To Mum

  • Floral Gifts: Carnations and roses are particularly favoured, symbolising love and respect in Serbian culture.
  • Handmade and Luxurious Presents: Artisan crafts, perfumes, and gems are popular gifts, showcasing a blend of traditional skills and contemporary appreciation.

Special Things Serbians Do For Mum

  • Playful Traditions: A unique Serbian custom involves children playfully tying their mother’s feet with ribbons in the morning, symbolising their affection and the mother’s importance in the family.
  • Culinary Celebrations: Daughters often take the lead in preparing meals, allowing mothers to relax. Traditional dishes like sarma, cevapi, or ajvar are common, accompanied by large family gatherings.
  • Cultural Appreciation: Families may attend concerts or exhibitions or participate in community-organised events, reflecting the societal recognition of mothers’ contributions.


Bulgarian Women Flag

Celebrates On: March 8 (combined with International Women’s Day)

In Bulgaria, Mother’s Day is seamlessly intertwined with International Women’s Day on March 8, creating a comprehensive celebration of women and motherhood. This day eschews the commercialised American version, favouring a more heartfelt and culturally rooted observance. While officially celebrated on March 8, it is part of a broader cultural fabric that values and honours the role of mothers and maternal figures, weaving together modern practices with traditional Christian and historical customs.

Typical Things Bulgarians Give To Mum

  • Floral Homage: Red and white carnations are prevalent, symbolising love, respect, and gratitude alongside spring blooms like tulips and lilies.
  • Artisanal and Sentimental Gifts: Handcrafted pottery, woven textiles, and personalised gifts reflect Bulgaria’s rich artisan traditions and personal connection with mothers.

Special Things Bulgarians Do For Mum

  • Culinary Celebration: Traditional Bulgarian dishes, such as Ribnik (fish with rice) and dishes with spinach and nettles, are prepared to celebrate the culinary heritage and the nurturing aspect of motherhood.
  • Cultural and Family Gatherings: Children’s performances of songs and dances, as well as family reunions in the countryside or at home, reinforce familial bonds and cultural heritage.
  • Historical and Religious Recognition: The Annunciation on March 25, celebrating the Virgin Mary, also holds significance as a day to honour mothers, intertwined with name days of women bearing related names.

Celebrate Mum In All Her Glory

As we come to the end of our global journey through Mother’s Day traditions from around the world, it’s clear that the essence of this special day resonates deeply across continents and cultures. From the shared meals and heartfelt gifts to the community celebrations and private moments of gratitude, Mother’s Day is a universal tribute to mothers’ strength, love, and sacrifice everywhere. These traditions, in their splendid variety, not only honour the individuality of each mother but also weave a common thread of reverence and affection that binds the world together. Let’s continue to cherish and uphold these traditions, ensuring that the spirit of Mother’s Day remains a beacon of appreciation and love, illuminating the vital role of mothers in shaping our lives and societies.

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The original DadShop writer, owner, fun loving and tech guy. Great with computers, gadgets, quick on his feet and lover of novelty gifts. Ben writes for our wonderful blog occasionally just to pass time.