Many countries have unique Mother’s Day traditions, often tying religious and cultural elements into their celebrations.
In Nigeria, for example, Mother’s Day Sunday is in March and celebrated in church with singing, dancing, and prayer.
Peruvians celebrate Mother’s Day on the second day in May, just as in the United States.
They also enjoy giving mothers flowers, cards, and gifts in honour of the day. Here’s a twist, though: Peruvian families often gather in cemeteries on Mother’s Day to honour the mothers, aunts, and grandmothers who have died. Peruvians socialise and enjoy food and drinks before cleaning the gravesites and decorating them with balloons, heart-shaped signs, and flowers.
The Japanese version of Mother’s Day is almost an exact replica of the United States — it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, and mothers are usually given gifts such as flowers (often red carnations or roses) and home-cooked meals. Additionally, some children will draw pictures of their mothers during a classroom activity which they then enter into an art contest; this is reflective of a tradition that started back in the 1950s, when children would enter pictures of their mothers into an art contest every four years for a chance to have their work showcased across the world.
Every year, Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10 in Mexico. It’s one of their biggest (and busiest) holidays regardless of the day of the week that it falls on! Like the United States, flowers are a big part of Mother’s Day in Mexico, but something unique to their traditions is that children usually make it a priority to be in the home on the eve of Mother’s Day.
Another unique tradition is that on the morning of May 10, mothers are often serenaded by a mariachi band with the song Las Mananitas.
Haitians celebrate Mother’s Day on the last Sunday in May. The celebrations include extended church services filled with prayers and songs to honour the sacrifices of mothers. Everyone wears a flower to honour their mother. If your mother is alive, you wear a red flower. If she died recently, you wear a white flower, and if you lost her many years ago, you wear a lavender flower.
Although many Filipinos celebrate Mother’s Day in May as Americans do, the official date has been a bit of a political football going back and forth over the years and has been in December.
Filipinos, who think of mothers as the ilaw ng tahanan (the light of the home), typically honour their mothers with flowers, chocolates, and small gifts.
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