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Mother’s Day traditions around the globe

To help you educate your kids on different cultures around the globe, we put together multiple ways you can celebrate Mother’s Day this year. Amazingly, more than 100 countries around the world have Mother’s Day traditions. Whether this is your family’s first one with little ones or you simply want to try something new, here are a few of our favorite beautiful and unique ideas for Mother’s Day from all around the world!

United States

Mother’s Day is a big deal in the U.S. Annually taking place on the second Sunday of May, it’s marked by flowers, homemade cards, gifts, and family barbecues. Mother’s Day is usually a family tradition where everyone gathers together to celebrate Moms and Grandmas. Next to Valentine’s Day, it’s the busiest time of year for flower shops and restaurants and sometimes for big companies who incentivize shoppers with Mother’s Day sales.


In Italy, the second Sunday in May marks La Festa della Mamma. Kids traditionally present thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts such as homemade cards and even poems. Older kids or adults are expected to visit home, send a letter, or call their mamma. Light pastries and coffee are typically served for breakfast followed by a cake after a big lunch. Most notably, Mom is not allowed to do any chores or cooking on her special day. It’s a time to drop any usual responsibilities around the house and let the rest of the family do the heavy lifting. 


El Día de las Madres is a big celebration on May 10th of every year. It’s a tradition to wake mom up with a serenade, often with the song “Las Mañanitas,” and sometimes even joined by a mariachi band (if she’s lucky). It’s also customary to give flowers of as many colors as possible and to eat traditional foods such as pozole, enchiladas, sopes, and mole. 


In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day is a spectacular three-day celebration called Antrosht that falls at the end of the rainy season. Daughters often bring things like spices, vegetables, butter, and cheese while sons bring meat. Some of these foods are combined to make a traditional hash recipe to serve at a big feast. The celebration that follows is filled with singing, dancing, and telling family stories. 


Mata Tritha is traditionally celebrated by visiting Mata Tirtha Pond in Nepal. This is a positive and uplifting way that the Nepalese show honor, love, and respect to both living moms and those who have passed away. Today, those who can make the trip will visit the pond or instead hold a special gathering, giving Mom gifts like handprint flowers and traditional foods. 


Many Indian families celebrate western Mother’s Day traditions like giving gifts, eating together, and even enjoying a day of relaxation. But this isn't the only time of year they celebrate moms. Durga Puja is a ten day festival in September or October, considered both a religious and cultural ceremony dating back to the 16th century. This event honors Durga, the Hindu goddess of mothers triumphing with good against evil. During the festival, it’s common to prepare traditional foods, decorate the home, and offer gifts to friends and family. 


Haha no Hi is celebrated in Japan on the second Sunday of May. Traditionally, red, pink or white, carnations are given as Mother’s Day gifts to symbolize endurance. Eggs are also symbolic in Japan, so dishes such as Oyakodon (chicken and egg bowl), Chawanmushi (egg custard), or Tamagoyaki (omelet) are commonly served as well. Cutest of all, kids often draw pictures of their mom at school that are entered into an art contest.


La Fête des Mères is celebrated on the last Sunday in May or the first Sunday in June. Kids might help make breakfast in bed and fathers might treat the family out to a nice lunch or dinner. Kiddos often make handmade cards or small gifts like a noodle necklace. Chocolates, perfume, or flowers are other common Mother’s Day gifts. Traditionally, mothers were given medals on this day but today it’s commonly celebrated with a floral decorated cake instead.

There are so many wonderful ways to honor Moms. Celebrate the French way by making noodle necklaces and baking a cake frosted with flowers. Or celebrate like the Italians by taking a day off and letting your kids do the chores. The beauty is that you and your family can make this day special any way you choose. 

At Doona, we believe parenting should be as simple and fun as possible, that’s why we make innovative products like our Doona Car Seat & Stroller, which transforms from car seat to stroller in seconds, or our Liki Trike, the most compact folding trike on the market. We hope these Mother’s Day ideas inspire you to celebrate in a new and beautiful way, perhaps even creating your own special traditions that last for years to come. Until then, Happy Mother’s Day!

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