Mother’s Day is a very special day for American families. While relatively new in terms of holidays, having been celebrated for the first time in 1870 after being promoted by Julia Ward Howe, the idea of celebrating the tremendous contribution to the family, and to our individual lives, of mothers has spread all across the world. Everyone wants to show their love and devotion to their mothers. In the United States, the second Sunday of May is set aside to allow us to tell our moms how special they are to us.
Many countries have adopted the idea, some altering the day to meet their particular values and customs. Several have chosen to have their Mother’s Days fall on the same date as America’s. These countries include, but are not limited to, Australia, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Malaysia, Peru, South Africa, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Urugray. So many different beliefs are held by these governments, but they all have chosen to set aside a day for Mom.
In Ireland, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. This day is actually closely associated with the United Kingdom’s Mothering Sunday and goes back to a medieval practice where poor children were sent to work for the rich. Once a year, though, they were allowed to return to their ‘Mother Church’ to worship. Afterwards, they’d pick flowers and take them to their mothers.
The United Kingdom celebrates their mothers on this same day as their Irish friends, on the fourth Sunday of Christian Lent. While the practice precedes America’s Mother’s Day, going back to the 17th century, in modern times the special day is spent much as it in the States. In fact, the British tend to call the event ‘Mother’s Day’ now more than the original ‘Mothering Sunday’.
Mexico salutes moms on May 10, though their celebration begins the night before when sons and daughters gather in their mother’s home. It’s celebrated with great enthusiasm that includes special masses with orchestras and the giving of gifts.
The Egyptians roots of Mother’s Day goes back to Isis, the goddess who embodied the virtues of the perfect wife and mother. Mothers were highly regarded in ancient times. Egypt continues to show their esteem to mothers every year on March 21. Other countries also choose to celebrate on this day, which is the vernal equinox. They include Iraq, Jordan, Oman, and Somalia.
The earliest day of the year that a country celebrates Mother’s Day is February 2 by the citizens of Greece, Next up are the Norwegians, who celebrate moms on the second Sunday in February. Now there is the possibility that both of these countries are occasionally beaten to the punch by Israel, because in that country, Mother’s Day is celebrated during Shevat, which can come anywhere from January 30 to March 1. On the Hebrew calendar, Shevat is is the fifth month of the civil year and the eleventh month of the ecclesiastical year.
The celebrations continue across the world, ending with Indonesia’s honoring of their mothers on December 22. The only other month to celebrate Mother’s Day in December is Panama which has Mother’s Day on the eighth of the month.
While the majority of the world tend to celebrate Mother’s Day sometime during the month of May, moms are shown love and affection throughout the year on designated days by various countries. It’s not when the day occurs that matters, but just that it does occur.