Looking for unique Mother's Day traditions around the world? Check out these 12 special Mother's Day rituals and celebrate the your mom this Mother's Day.

12 Unique Mother’s Day Traditions Around The World

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Soumya

Are you looking for Mother’s Day traditions around the world? You’re in the right place.

In this epic Mother’s Day Traditions guide, we will find out how Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world in different cultures, including fascinating Mother’s Day rituals and interesting ways to celebrate this important day.

Mothers are the sweetest things in the world, always up and ready for their little ones. And that is exactly why we have Mother’s Day to celebrate them. Sometimes I feel every single day should be Mother’s Day. Don’t you agree?

The world has always celebrated and honored moms. But it is interesting to note that Mother’s Day traditions can be so different across cultures and countries.

So, let’s dig in and find out how the world celebrates Mother’s Day and how can we make this day special for our moms this year.

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Looking for unique Mother's Day traditions around the world? Check out these 12 special Mother's Day rituals and celebrate the your mom this Mother's Day.
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Unique Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World

Mother’s Day is special. Every year, thousands of people celebrate their mothers by gifting them presents, flowers, cakes, and other goodies.

But, celebrations differ widely by country and culture. Sometimes, even the dates differ.

Let’s find out how some of the countries around the world celebrate Mother’s Day. And how these can inspire you to make the day even more special for your mamma this year.

Mother’s Day Traditions in the Americas


The celebration of Mother’s Day in the USA goes back to 1908 when Anna Jarvis conceived of a day to honor the sacrifices that mothers made for their kids.

Anna Jarvis was the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, who was instrumental in starting Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in the 19th century. Here, mothers were taught how to properly care for their children.

Anna’s persistence and simultaneous adoption of the cause by states and churches led to the official establishment of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May in 1914.

Now, Mother’s Day is celebrated with pomp and show every year in the USA.

Mothers take the day off household work, and kids cook them large, elaborate dinners. Or take them out for lunch to their favorite places.

If a child is not able to visit her mom on this special day, then she is expected to call and send flowers.

Carnations are the official Mother’s Day flowers in the USA! But honestly, people just buy the flowers that their moms like. Isn’t that sweet?

Apart from gifting their moms with flowers, Americans also wear flower corsages on Mother’s Day. This is a custom unique to the USA. Wearing pink carnations honors a living mother while wearing white carnations honors a deceased one.

Bring the USA home this Mother’s Day
  • Cook your mom a loving, elaborate meal filled with her favorite dishes.
  • Wear a carnation (pink/white) corsage to show your love and affection for your mother.
Happy Mother's Day with pink flowers
Mother’s Day traditions around the world are unique and special.
Image courtesy: FeelPic from Getty Images via Canva Pro


La Dia de la Madre, or Mother’s Day in Mexico, has an interesting history behind it.

A Mexican magazine, El Hogar, got together with the Association of Catholic Ladies and published an article on the ties of motherhood and traditional Mexican values. This was when Mexican women were venturing out into the professional world and choosing to have fewer children.

Mexico’s first Mother’s Day was celebrated on the 10th of May, 1922, in support of the motherhood campaign.

Soon, the festival assumed sacred connotations and gained widespread acceptance. Especially among women.

Ever since La Dia de la Madre has been celebrated on May 10th every year in Mexico.

May 10th is a busy day for Mexico every year. Almost everyone goes out for lunch/dinner, and restaurants are packed. You will have to make a reservation weeks ahead.

The family gets together and eats a traditional Mexican lunch while listening to Mexican music.

Taking a trajinera ride in the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco near Mexico City is a great idea. These boat rides are full of dance, music, and good food.

Everyone expresses love and gratitude to their moms and grandmoms. Children present their mothers with flowers, candies, or other gifts. They often stage a small play to show their love.

Bring Mexico home this Mother’s Day
  • Organize a family lunch/dinner with Mexican food and Mexican music.
  • Stage a play from the life of your mom and bring back some of those cherished memories.
Woman in a museum appreciating art
Gifting your mom a free museum tour is a unique Mother’s Day tradition from Peru.
Image courtesy: StockSnap from Pixabay via Canva Pro


Mother’s Day in Peru is quite a celebration. Instead of just one day, Mother’s Day is celebrated for a week in Peru.

Families organize dinners, lunches, parties, and trips throughout the week. Art and musical performances are common around the city.

Plus, mothers can visit museums, exhibitions, and festivals for free during this week.

Children shower their mothers with flowers and gifts. And recite poems and stories for them!

One very unique aspect of Mother’s Day celebrations in Peru is that they honor their dead mothers, too. People visit the graves of their deceased mothers, grandmothers, and wives and offer flowers and balloons.

Out of all the countries that I have seen, Peru is probably the most enthusiastic one about Mother’s Day celebrations. 7 days! Wow, that is long and fun!

Bring Peru home this Mother’s Day
  • How about organizing a week-long party for your mom as the Peruvians do? Help her with her chores, shower her with presents, and do something special for her every day.
  • Organize art exhibits and home museums that your mom can attend for free! This could include a walk down memory lane for your family!

Mother’s Day Traditions in Europe

Mom and daughter baking a cake together
Bake your mom a special cake this Mother’s Day, like the Europeans do.
Image courtesy: Monkey Business Images via Canva Pro


Mother’s Day in the UK is celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent every year. That means it is a couple of months ahead of the American Mother’s Day.

UK’s Mother’s Day is also known by a different name. It is called Mothering Sunday.

Earlier, the day had nothing to do with mothers in the UK. Instead, it was a day when Christians would visit their “mother” church.

But as the focus shifted from religion, Mothering Sunday in the UK came to be associated with the mothers of the family. Now, the British honor and celebrate their mothers on this festive day.

Children usually gift cards and flowers to their mothers and make them breakfast in bed.

Traditionally Mothering Sunday in the UK has revolved a lot around good food. One of the most important rituals is to prepare a Simnel Cake that is relished by the entire family. Pancakes and other yummy treats are also loved.

Bring home the UK this Mother’s Day
Heart shaped cake
Baking a heart-shaped cake is a unique Mother’s Day ritual from Italy.
Image courtesy: clubfoto from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro


Mother’s Day is known as La Festa della Mamma in Italy.

An Italian mamma is the most important person in the house. She is celebrated throughout the year. But on Mother’s Day, she is definitely pampered and appreciated more.

La Festa della Mamma is celebrated on the second Sunday of every May.

Celebrations are simple. Family members try to get together and indulge their moms. If you cannot get home, you have to call.

Small gifts, fresh flowers (often roses), and handwritten poetry are common. Cards are not that common in Italy.

The day starts with a simple breakfast. Then, the family heads out for lunch to give Mamma a day off from cooking.

Mother’s Day ends with a dessert, mostly a cake in the heart shape! Cute, isn’t it? In Italy, it is more about spending quality time with your mom than anything else. And making her feel like the queen, of course!

Bring Italy home this Mother’s Day
  • Spend time with your mom. Help her with her chores, watch a movie, or go out together. Let her know she is appreciated.
  • Gift her a rose and bake a heart-shaped cake. I am sure she will love that.
Mother child and flowers
Gift your mom flowers that she loves.
Image courtesy: evgenyatamanenko from Getty Images via Canva Pro


Mother’s Day in France is celebrated either on the last Sunday of May or the first Sunday of June.

The idea of a Mother’s Day in France originated during the Napoleonic era when families with a large number of children were presented with medals. Some localities still honor this tradition and present moms with medals on Mother’s Day.

On a personal level, it is traditional to present your mom with a special flower bouquet cake. In other words, a cake that is shaped like a flower bouquet.

An intimate family dinner is pretty common too. Children offer flowers, perfumes, jewelry, or chocolates to their moms as well as handmade gifts and handwritten poems.

Bring France home this Mother’s Day
  • Bake a flower bouquet cake for your mom. And arrange for a lovely family dinner at home or at a restaurant.
  • For fun – have an award ceremony where you give out medals for your mother’s various achievements.
Mother and son hiking in the Alps
Gifting your mom travel tickets is a unique Mother’s Day gift from Germany.
Image courtesy: Nadezhda1906 from Getty Images via Canva Pro


Mother’s Day, or Muttertag in Germany, is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

It is believed Mother’s Day celebrations originated in Germany sometime in the Middle Ages when relatives visited each other and wished each other for spring and the beginning of life.

Mother’s Day became very important during the German Reich. Mothers who bore four or more children were presented with a Cross of Honor. However, the celebrations became more neutral after the World War.

Today, Mother’s Day in Germany is very much like anywhere else in the world.

Children present gifts, cards, and flowers to their moms. Flowers can be as colorful as possible.

Surprise visits are common. And it is not unusual to present your mom with travel tickets! Yeah, to visit you or her favorite place in the world. How wonderful is that!

Bring Germany home this Mother’s Day
  • If your mom lives far away, surprise her with a visit. Cook up something special and spend some quality time with her.
  • Give her the gift of travel. Book her a return ticket to the land of wanderlust.

Mother’s Day Traditions in Asia

Carnation flowers are symbolic of Mother's Day celebrations around the world.
Carnations are a popular Mother’s Day flower.
Image courtesy: y-studio from Getty Images via Canva Pro


Mother’s Day in Japan can be traced back to as early as 1913. But there was a brief halt during World War II.

Mother’s Day was again revived after the world war with a very different meaning. It was celebrated to console mothers who had lost their kids to war. Today, the whole of Japan enjoys Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May every year.

In Japan, kids gift flowers to their mothers. Usually fresh red or pink carnations! Carnations symbolize purity, love, and endurance in Japanese culture.

Children also help with household chores and make food. Some of the popular Japanese dishes associated with Mother’s Day are the Tamagoyaki (a rectangular omelet) and Chawanmushi (a savory egg custard).

Younger kids make handmade gifts or draw portraits of their moms. Calligraphy gifts are also popular!

Bring Japan home this Mother’s Day
  • Gift your mom red carnations. Draw her a portrait or write her something in calligraphy.
  • Cook your mom something Japanese – a Tamagoyaki or a Chawanmushi!
Navratri celebrations in India
In India, people worship Female Goddess Durga as a motherly figure.
Image courtesy: basant malviya from Getty Images via Canva Pro


Urban India celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of every May. Children shower their moms with presents. Restaurants and retail stores offer discounts.

However, most of rural India still remains unaware of this modern version of Mother’s Day. For them, Mother’s Day has always been about worshipping the female goddess Durga.

Traditionally, Indians have celebrated mothers and women during the colorful 9-day Navratri festival or the 10-day Durga Puja that is held in October.

People worship Mother Goddess Durga during this time and celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

It is customary for families to get together, decorate their homes, spend time preparing goodies at home as well as eat outside. New clothes for everyone too! There is excitement in the air.

In western India, you can see people dancing to the tunes of Garba music. While on the east coast, you will find people hopping around marquees and having lots of delicious street food.

Bring India home this Mother’s Day
  • Dance with your mom, wear new clothes and get her some nice gifts.
  • Dish up an Indian street food dish like Pani Puri. or make an Indian dessert. Mango kulfi is loved by all.


Indonesian Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on the 22nd of December.

This was originally an initiative to celebrate the spirit of Indonesian women and honor their achievements.

However, with the passing of time, Mother’s Day has come to include celebrating moms and showering them with love.

Across Indonesia, children give gifts and flowers to their moms. Moms take the day off from household work.

Bring Indonesia home this Mother’s Day
  • Highlight your mother’s achievements, however big or small, and make her feel awesome about it.
Arab family bonding over food
Feasting on delicacies is a common ritual on Mother’s Day in the Arab world.
Image courtesy: Zurijeta via Canva Pro

Arab World

Arab countries in both Asia and Africa celebrate Mother’s Day on the 21st of March, the first day of spring when Mother Earth herself comes to life.

The traditions started in Egypt when a journalist tried to promote the idea of a day honoring the mothers of the country.

The idea was initially not accepted because it was a Western concept. But then, slowly, it got accepted and spread to other Arab countries, including Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, and Iraq.

In the Arab world, this day celebrates not only biological mothers but every other motherly figure. That is why teachers at school receive a lot of Mother’s Day cards.

At home, it is common for the children to kiss their mothers’ hands as a sign of love and affection.

Mothers receive cards, flowers, and other presents. Grandmoms and mothers-in-law also receive gifts. It is also traditional for the family to dedicate a song (usually women-centric) to the mothers in the family.

Bring the Arab World home this Mother’s Day
  • Begin the day by kissing your mother’s hand and shower her with gifts.
  • Dedicate a loving song to your mother to show her how much she means in your life.

Mother’s Day Traditions in Africa


Mother’s Day in Ethiopia is celebrated for 3 long days instead of just one. The celebrations begin on the second Sunday of May, like in other countries.

Mother’s Day is a massive celebration in Ethiopia, with families indulging in feasts and gatherings. The celebration is called “Antrosht”.

Families enjoy traditional Ethiopian meals today during Antrosht. This usually consists of a stew made of lamb/bull, vegetables, and butter and a traditional Ethiopian drink called the Ethiopian punch.

The onus of sourcing the ingredients for Mother’s Day meals lies with the children. This gives the mother some respite and lessens her burden.

Bring Ethiopia home this Mother’s Day
  • Make a traditional Ethiopian meal at home.
  • Celebrate Mother’s Day for 3 days and do something special for her every day.

Final Thoughts on Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World

A single day or festival, such as Mother’s Day, can mean so many different things across cultures. And that is exactly what these traditions show us.

While for some, Mother’s Day signifies the beginning of spring and life, for others, it is honoring women who are committed to changing lives. For many others, it is simply pampering that woman you love the most.

Whatever the reason, it is always a great idea to love the women in your life and give them an extra reason to smile.

So, which tradition are you picking this Mother’s Day? Is it a week-long party, a British Simnel cake, a traditional Ethiopian meal, or fresh carnations? Or something else? Do let me know in the comments below.

Loved this Mother’s Day Traditions Guide? Pin it for later!

Looking for unique Mother's Day traditions around the world? Check out these 12 special Mother's day rituals and celebrate your mom this Mother's Day.

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

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