Mother’s Day is celebrated on different days, and completely different seasons, depending on which part of the globe you call home. Regardless of the country or culture, the love of mothers’ crosses international borders. As Mother’s Day approaches, on May 10, 2020, for the U.S. and a few other countries, remember to share your appreciation of your mother on the day celebrated by her and her family. If you have grandmothers, aunts, and mums across the globe, be sure to read these tips about worldwide customs and how to honor and respect the global ladies in your life.
Colombian culture has a strong focus on family values, Mother’s Day or El Día de la Madre is a very important holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Family quality time, appreciation, gratitude, and acts of service towards all moms is heavily encouraged. Breakfasts in bed are a common staple in every single Colombian household on Mother’s day. It is the day Dad, along with the kids silently prepare breakfast, while mom pretends to be asleep. It is also very common to host a big family late lunch, to celebrate them. It is speculated that due to this year’s social distancing situation, the Ministry of Commerce is asking for a second Mother’s day celebration, that could take place in the fall season, and work as a boost in the economy.
The history of this holiday in the U.S. began in the early 20th century with daughter Anna Jarvis, looking to honor her mother. Anna noticed parents were often unappreciated by their children. After the death of her mother, Anna set out to make a national day to recognize mothers. Through her hard work, campaigns, and enthusiastic supporters, Anna’s efforts lead to the establishment of a national Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day in the U.S. is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May and characterized by the giving of cards, flowers, gifts, and brunch to show appreciation. Other women who have provided inspiration and leadership are also acknowledged on this day including grandmothers, aunts, step-mothers, friends, and mentors. White carnations are a popular flower to give because they were Anna Jarvis’ mother’s favorite flower.
Australia celebrates Mother’s Day on the same day and in a fashion similar to the United States, on the second Sunday in May. Australians express love and appreciation for mothers with flowers and cards raining down upon family matriarchs. The carnation is also symbolic in Australia, with a colored flower signifying a mother who’s alive and well, while a white flower pays respect to a mother who is missed. Australian mothers are pampered, appreciated, and usually enjoy the start of this day with breakfast in bed.
Mother’s Day in Mexico is always celebrated on May 10th. Children write cards, deliver flowers, and also give gifts to mothers. Whether it is a handmade work of art, a skit, or a store-bought gift, mothers are appreciated and loved on this day. Children also help with housework and even show up and begin helping mothers as early as the day before the 10th. Churches organize a special mass, and the praise of female figures in religious settings is also celebrated. Music, food, and social gatherings are all traditional ways to honor Mexican mothers.
Spanish Mother’s Day festivities take place on December 8th. On this day, mothers are celebrated, along with tributes paid to the Virgin Mary. As both familial and church ties are acknowledged, celebrations in both the home and in local churches are common.
UK Mother’s Day celebrations occur on the fourth Sunday in the month of Lent. With a deep and rich history of “Mothering Sunday,” going back to the 1600s, Mother’s Day has evolved over time. Traditionally, Christians fast through Lent; however, on Mothering Sunday, celebration and the consumption of cake is permissible. Today that history is celebrated by baking rich almond cakes known as “Mothering Cake,” or “Simnel Cake.” Trips to visit mothers, along with the acknowledgment of other important women, celebrate this important holiday. Mothers are celebrated with cards, flowers, cakes, expensive gifts, and experiences (spa day, vacation) in the United Kingdom tradition.
Wherever you may find yourself, remember to honor your mother and the inspiring women in your life. Whether she’s in your home, across the globe, or in your heart, being aware and open will make Mother’s Day special for your loved ones.
Switzerland adopted Mother’s Day in the 1930s by the influencing efforts of the local unions in the flower industry and the strong Christian and American influence that came from the Salvation Army. They also celebrate it on the second Sunday in May which tends to revolve around Swiss chocolate, especially from their most famous and delicious brand Sprüngli.
No matter where in the world you find yourself, it is certain you will have a mother to thank something for. Take this week to brainstorm some cute, fun and gracious ways to thank those people in your life. They will definitely appreciate and cherish any small detail.
Sharon Schweitzer wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.