An elderly mother posing with her card
|Observed by||Many countries|
|Significance||Honours mothers and motherhood|
|Related to||Children's Day, Siblings Day, Father's Day, Parents' Day|
Mother's Day is a modern celebration honoring one's own mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father's Day and Siblings Day.
The celebration of Mother's Day began in the United States in the early 20th century; it is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a celebration of the mother church, not motherhood). Despite this, in some countries Mother's Day has become synonymous with these older traditions.
- 1 Founding (US)
- 2 Spelling
- 3 Dates around the world
- 4 International history and tradition
- 4.1 Religion
- 4.2 By country (A–G)
- 4.3 By country (H–M)
- 4.4 By country (N–S)
- 4.4.1 Netherlands
- 4.4.2 Nepal
- 4.4.3 New Zealand
- 4.4.4 Nicaragua
- 4.4.5 Maldives
- 4.4.6 Pakistan
- 4.4.7 Panama
- 4.4.8 Palestine
- 4.4.9 Paraguay
- 4.4.10 Philippines
- 4.4.11 Poland
- 4.4.12 Portugal
- 4.4.13 Romania
- 4.4.14 Russia
- 4.4.15 Samoa
- 4.4.16 Singapore
- 4.4.17 Slovakia
- 4.4.18 South Sudan
- 4.4.19 Spain
- 4.4.20 Sri Lanka
- 4.4.21 Sweden
- 4.4.22 Switzerland
- 4.5 By country (T–Z)
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
The modern American holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Anna’s mission was to honor her own mother by continuing work she had started and to set aside a day to honor mothers, "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world". Anna's mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
Due to the campaign efforts of Anna Jarvis, several states officially recognized Mother's Day, the first in 1910 being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother's Day she soon became resentful of the commercialization and was angry that companies would profit from the holiday. By the early 1920's, Hallmark and other companies had started selling Mother's Day cards. Jarvis became so embittered by what she saw as misinterpretation and exploitation that she protested and even tried to rescind Mother's Day. The holiday that she had worked so hard for was supposed to be about sentiment, not about profit. The original intention was to appreciate and honor mothers by writing a personal letter, by hand, expressing love and gratitude; it wasn't to buy gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis organized boycotts and threatened lawsuits to try to stop the commercialization. She crashed a candymakers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923. Two years later she protested at a confab of the American War Mothers, which raised money by selling carnations, the flower associated with Mother’s Day, and was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Jarvis' holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world.
In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association. She specifically noted that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world." This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in his 1914 presidential proclamation, by the U.S. Congress in relevant bills, and by various U.S. presidents in their proclamations concerning Mother's Day. However, "Mothers' Day" (plural possessive) or "Mothers Day" (plural non-possessive) are also sometimes seen.
Dates around the world
As the United States holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures, the date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honoring motherhood, such as Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom or, in Greece, the Orthodox celebration of the presentation of Jesus Christ to the temple (2 February of Julian Calendar). Both the secular and religious Mother Day are present in Greece. Mothering Sunday is often referred to as "Mother's Day" even though it is an unrelated celebration.
In some countries the date was changed to a date that was significant to the majority religion, such as Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia's Mother's Day is the date of a battle in which women participated. See the "International history and tradition" section for the complete list.
Ex-communist countries usually celebrated the socialist International Women's Day instead of the more capitalist Mother's Day. Some ex-communist countries, such as Russia, still follow this custom or simply celebrate both holidays, which is the custom in Ukraine. Kyrgyzstan has recently introduced Mother's Day, but International Women's Day remains a more widely popular holiday.
Note: Countries that celebrate International Women's Day instead of Mother's Day are marked with a dagger (†).
Full Moon Day in January (ျပာသိုလျပည့္)
Second Sunday of February
Feb 9, 2014
Fourth Sunday in Lent
30 Mar 2014
7 April (Annunciation day)
First Sunday in May
May 4, 2014
Second Sunday of May
May 11, 2014
Poland "Dzień Matki"
Last Sunday of May (sometimes first Sunday of June if it's Pentecost)
May 25, 2014
Mongolia† (Mothers' and Children's Day.)
Second Sunday of June
Jun 8, 2014
Last Sunday of June
Jun 29, 2014
First Monday of July
Jul 7, 2014
15 August (Assumption of Mary)
Second Monday of October
Oct 13, 2014
Third Sunday of October
Oct 19, 2014
Last Sunday of November
Nov 30, 2014
8 December (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
|Occurrence||Equivalent Gregorian dates||Country|
|Between 30 January and 1 March|
|Between 19 April and 19 May|
|24 May 2011
12 May 2012
International history and tradition
In most countries, Mother's Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in the United States. As adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meanings, is associated with different events (religious, historical or legendary), and is celebrated on different dates.
In some cases, countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations then adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, such as giving carnations and other presents to one's mother.
The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one's mother not to mark Mother's Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.
In Hindu tradition Mother's Day is called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" or "Mother Pilgrimage fortnight", and is celebrated in countries with a Hindu population, especially in Nepal. The holiday is observed on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh, i.e., April/May. This celebration is based on Hindu religion and it pre-dates the creation of the US-inspired celebration by at least a few centuries.
By country (A–G)
Mother's Day in most Arab countries is celebrated on 21 March, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. It was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in his book Smiling America (1943). The idea was overlooked at the time. Later Amin heard the story of a widowed mother who devoted her whole life to raising her son until he became a doctor. The son then married and left without showing any gratitude to his mother. Hearing this, Amin became motivated to promote "Mother's Day". The idea was first ridiculed by president Gamal Abdel Nasser but he eventually accepted it and Mother's Day was first celebrated on 21 March 1956. The practice has since been copied by other Arab countries.
When Mustafa Amin was arrested and imprisoned, there were attempts to change the name of the holiday from "Mother's Day" to "Family Day" as the government wished to prevent the occasion from reminding people of its founder. These attempts were unsuccessful and celebrations continued to be held on that day; classic songs celebrating mothers remain famous to this day.
In Argentina, Mother's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of October. The holiday was originally celebrated on 11 October, the old liturgical date for the celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary but after the Second Vatican Council, which moved the Virgin Mary festivity to 1 January, the Mother's Day started to be celebrated the third Sunday of October because of popular tradition.
Argentina is the only country in the world that celebrates Mother's Day in this date. In 17 October 2010 Google made a Google doodle exclusively to celebrate the Argentinian Mother's Day, and published it only in google.com.ar (Google's website for Argentina).
In Armenia, Mother's Day is celebrated on 7 April (Maternity and Beauty Day).
In Australia, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
The tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother's Day in Australia was started by Mrs Janet Heyden, a resident of Leichhardt, Sydney, in 1924. She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women. Every year thereafter, Mrs Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the local Mayor. The day has since become commercialised. Traditionally, the chrysanthemum is given to mothers for Mother's Day as the flower is naturally in season during May (autumn in Australia) and ends in "mum", a common affectionate shortening of "mother" in Australia. Men will often wear a chrysanthemum in their lapels in honor of mothers.
In Bangladesh, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May. In observance of the day discussion programs are organized by government and non-governmental organizations. Reception programs and cultural programs are organized to mark the day in the capital city. Television channels air special programs, and newspapers publish special features and columns to mark the day. Greeting cards, flowers and gifts featuring mothers are in high demand at the shops and markets.
Belarus celebrates Mother's Day in 14 October. Like other ex-Communist republics, Belarus used to celebrate only the International Women Day in 8 March. Mother's Day in Belarus was officially established by the Belarus government, and it was celebrated for the first time in 1996. The celebration of the Virgin Mary (the holiday of Protection of the Holy Mother of God) is celebrated in the same day.
In Belgium, Mother's Day (Moederdag or Moederkesdag in Dutch and Fête des Mères in French) is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. In the week before this holiday children make little presents at primary school, which they give to their mothers in the early morning of Mother's Day. Typically, the father will buy croissants and other sweet breads and pastries and bring these to the mother while she is still in bed – the beginning of a day of pampering for the mother. There are also many people who celebrate Mother's Day on 15 August instead; these are mostly people around Antwerp, who consider that day (Assumption) the classical Mother's Day and the observance in May an invention for commercial reasons. It was originally established on that day as the result of a campaign by Frans Van Kuyck, a painter and Alderman from Antwerp.
In Bolivia, Mother's Day is celebrated on 27 May. El Día de la Madre Boliviana was passed into law on 8 November 1927, during the presidency of Hernando Siles Reyes. The date commemorates the Battle of La Coronilla, which took place on 27 May 1812, during the Bolivian War of Independence, in what is now the city of Cochabamba. In this battle, women fighting for the country's independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army. It is not a festive day, but all schools hold activities and festivities throughout the day.[contradiction]
In Brazil, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
The first Mother's Day in Brazil was promoted by Associação Cristã de Moços de Porto Alegre (Young Men's Christian Association of Porto Alegre) on 12 May 1918. In 1932, then President Getúlio Vargas made the second Sunday of May the official date for Mother's Day. In 1947, Archbishop Jaime de Barros Câmara, Cardinal-Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, decided that this holiday would also be included in the official calendar of the Catholic Church.
Mother's Day is not an official holiday (see Public holidays in Brazil), but it is widely observed and typically involves spending time with and giving gifts to one's mother. Because of this, it is considered one of the celebrations most related to consumerism in the country, second only to Christmas Day as the most commercially lucrative holiday.
In Bulgaria, 8 March is associated with International Women's Day. The holiday honors women as human beings and equal partners.
Another Bulgarian holiday related to maternity and the family is Babinden (Bulgarian Бабинден), celebrated on 8 January.
- See also Other observances in Canada
Mother's Day in Canada is celebrated on the second Sunday in May (it is not, however, a public holiday or bank holiday), and typically involves small celebrations and gift-giving to one's mother, grandmother, or other important female figures in one's family. Celebratory practices are very similar to those of other western nations, such as Australia, the United Kingdom the United States of America and Ireland. Many people in Canada express their gratitude towards mothers and mother figures on Mother's Day. A Québécois tradition is for Québécois men to offer roses or other flowers to the women.
Mother's Day is becoming more popular in China. Carnations are a very popular Mother's Day gift and the most sold flowers in relation to the day. In 1997 Mother's Day was set as the day to help poor mothers and to remind people of the poor mothers in rural areas such as China's western region. In the People's Daily, the Chinese government's official newspaper, an article explained that "despite originating in the United States, people in China accept the holiday without hesitation because it is in line with the country's traditional ethics – respect for the elderly and filial piety towards parents."
In recent years, the Communist Party member Li Hanqiu began to advocate for the official adoption of Mother's Day in memory of Meng Mu, the mother of Mèng Zǐ. He formed a non-governmental organization called Chinese Mothers' Festival Promotion Society, with the support of 100 Confucian scholars and lecturers of ethics. Li and the Society want to replace the Western-style gift of carnations with lilies, which, in ancient times, were planted by Chinese mothers when children left home. Mother's Day remains an unofficial festival, except in a small number of cities.
Mother's Day in Cyprus is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
In the Czech Republic, Mother's Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. It started in former Czechoslovakia in 1923. The promoter of this celebration was Alice Masaryková. After World War II communists replaced Mother's Day with International Woman's Day, celebrated on 8 March. The former Czechoslovakia celebrated Women's Day until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. After the split of the country in 1993, the Czech Republic started celebrating Mother's Day again.
In France, amidst alarm at the low birth rate, there were attempts in 1896 and 1904 to create a national celebration honoring the mothers of large families. In 1906 ten mothers who had nine children each were given an award recognising "High Maternal Merit" ("Haut mérite maternel"). American World War I soldiers fighting in France popularized the US Mother's Day holiday created by Anna Jarvis. They sent so much mail back to their country for Mother's Day that the Union Franco-Américaine created a postal card for that purpose. In 1918, also inspired by Jarvis, the town of Lyon wanted to celebrate a "journée des Mères", but instead decided to celebrate a "Journée Nationale des Mères de familles nombreuses." The holiday was more inspired by anti-depopulation efforts than by the US holiday, with medals awarded to the mothers of large families. The French government made the day official in 1920 as a day for mothers of large families. Since then the French government awards the Médaille de la Famille française to mothers of large families.
In 1941, by initiative of Philippe Pétain, the wartime Vichy government used the celebration in support of their policy to encourage larger families, but all mothers were now honored, even mothers with smaller families.
In 1950, after the war, the celebration was reinstated. The law of 24 May 1950 required that the Republic pay official homage to French Mothers on the last Sunday in May as the "Fête des Mères" (except when Pentecost fell on that day, in which case it was moved to the first Sunday in June).
During the 1950s, the celebration lost all its patriotic and natalist ideologies, and became heavily commercialized.
In 1956, the celebration was given a budget and integrated into the new Code de l'action sociale et des familles. In 2004 responsibility for the holiday was transferred to the Minister responsible for families.
In the 1920s, Germany had the lowest birthrate in Europe, and the declining trend was continuing. This was attributed to women's participation in the labor market. At the same time, influential groups in society (politicians of left and right, churchwomen, and feminists) believed that mothers should be honored but could not agree on how to do so. However, all groups strongly agreed on the promotion of the values of motherhood. In 1923, this resulted in the unanimous adoption of Muttertag, the Mother's Day holiday as imported from America and Norway. The head of the Association of German Florists cited "the inner conflict of our Volk and the loosening of the family" as his reason for introducing the holiday. He expected that the holiday would unite the divided country. In 1925, the Mother's Day Committee joined the task force for the recovery of the volk, and the holiday stopped depending on commercial interests and began emphasizing the need to increase the population in Germany by promoting motherhood.
The holiday was then seen as a means to encourage women to bear more children, which nationalists saw as a way to rejuvenate the nation. The holiday did not celebrate individual women, but an idealized standard of motherhood. The progressive forces resisted the implementation of the holiday because it was backed by so many conservatives, and because they saw it as a way to eliminate the rights of working women. Die Frau, the newspaper of the Federation of German Women's Associations, refused to recognize the holiday. Many local authorities adopted their own interpretation of the holiday: it would be a day to support economically larger families or single-mother families. The guidelines for the subsidies had eugenics criteria, but there is no indication that social workers ever implemented them in practice, and subsidies were given preferentially to families in economic need rather than to families with more children or "healthier" children.
With the Nazi party in power during 1933–1945, the situation changed radically. The promotion of Mother's Day increased in many European countries, including the UK and France. From the position of the German Nazi government, the role of mothers was to give healthy children to the German nation. The Nazi party's intention was to create a pure "Aryan race" according to nazi eugenics. Among other Mother's Day ideas, the government promoted the death of a mother's sons in battle as the highest embodiment of patriotic motherhood.
The Nazis quickly declared Mother's Day an official holiday and put it under the control of the NSV (National Socialist People's Welfare Association) and the NSF (National Socialist Women Organization). This created conflicts with other organizations that resented Nazi control of the holiday, including Catholic and Protestant churches and local women's organizations. Local authorities resisted the guidelines from the Nazi government and continued assigning resources to families who were in economic need, much to the dismay of the Nazi officials.
In 1938 the government began issuing an award called Mother's Cross (Mutterkreuz), according to categories that depended on the number of children a mother had. The medal was awarded on Mother's Day and also on other holidays due to the large number of recipients. The Cross was an effort to encourage women to have more children, and recipients were required to have at least four. For example, a gold cross recipient (level one) was obliged to have eight children or more. Because having fewer children was a recent development, the gold cross was awarded mainly to elderly mothers with adult children. The Cross promoted loyalty among German women and was a popular award even though it had little material reward and was mostly empty praise. The recipients of honors were compelled to be examined by doctors and social workers according to genetic and racial values that were considered beneficial. The mother's friends and family were also examined for possible flaws that could disqualify the mother, and they also had to be "racially and morally fit." They had to be "German-blooded," "genetically healthy," "worthy," "politically reliable," and could not have vices like drinking. Criteria that weighed against honors were, for example, "family history contains inferior blood", "unfeminine" behavior including smoking or doing poor housekeeping, not being "politically reliable", or having family members who had been "indicted and imprisoned". There were instances where a family was disqualified because a doctor saw signs of "feeblemindedness". Even contact with a Jew could disqualify a potential recipient. Some social workers had become disillusioned from the Weimar Republic and supported Nazi ideas personally as a means to "cure" the problems of the country. The application of policies was uneven, as doctors promoted medical criteria over racial criteria, and local authorities promoted economic need over any other criteria.
The holiday is now celebrated on the second Sunday of May, in a manner similar to other nearby European countries.
Mother's Day in Greece is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
By country (H–M)
The modern Mother's Day has been assimilated into Indian culture, and it is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May. Indians do not celebrate the occasion as a religious event and it is celebrated mostly in urban centers while a majority of the population still remains unaware of a formal Mother's Day.
Indonesian Mother's Day (Indonesian: Hari Ibu) is celebrated nationally on 22 December. The date was made an official holiday by President Soekarno under Presidential Decree (Indonesian: Dekrit Presiden) no. 316 in 1953, on the 25th anniversary of the 1928 Indonesian Women Congress. The day originally sought to celebrate the spirit of Indonesian women and to improve the condition of the nation. Today, the meaning of Mother's Day has changed, and it is celebrated by expressing love and gratitude to mothers. People present gifts to mothers (such as flowers) and hold surprise parties and competitions, which include cooking and kebaya wearing. People also allow mothers a day off from domestic chores.
The holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of the opening day of the first Indonesian Women Congress (Indonesian: Kongres Perempuan Indonesia), which was held from 22 to 25 December 1928. The Congress took place in a building called Dalem Jayadipuran, which now serves as the office of the Center of History and Traditional Values Preservation (Indonesian: Balai Pelestarian Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional) in Brigjen Katamso Street, Yogyakarta. The Congress was attended by 30 feminist organizations from 12 cities in Java and Sumatra. In Indonesia, feminist organizations have existed since 1912, inspired by Indonesian heroines of the 19th century, e.g., Kartini, Martha Christina Tiahahu, Cut Nyak Meutia, Maria Walanda Maramis, Dewi Sartika, Nyai Ahmad Dahlan, Rasuna Said, etc. The Congress intended to improve women's rights in education and marriage.
Indonesia also celebrates the Kartini Day (Indonesian: Hari Kartini) on 21 April, in memory of activist Raden Ajeng Kartini. This is a celebration of the emancipation of women. The observance was instituted at the 1938 Indonesian Women Congress.
In Iran, Mother's Day is celebrated on 20 Jumada al-thani. This is the sixth month in the Islamic calendar (a lunar calendar) and every year the holiday falls on a different day of the Gregorian calendar. This is the birthday anniversary of Fatimah, Prophet Muhammad's only daughter according to Shia Islam orthodoxy. Mother's Day was originally observed on 16 December but the date was changed after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The celebration is both Women's Day (replacing International Women's Day) and Mother's Day.
In 1960, the Institute for Women Protection adopted the Western holiday and established it on 25 Azar (16 December) of the Iranian official calendar, the date the Institute was founded. The Institute's action had the support of Queen Farah Pahlavi, the wife of the last Shah of Persia, who promoted the construction of maternity clinics in remote parts of the country to commemorate the day. The government used the holiday to promote its maternalist view of women. The Shah's government honored and gave awards to women who represented the idealized view of the regime, including mothers who had many healthy children.
The Islamic Republic government is accused of using the holiday as a tool to undercut feminist movements and to promote role models for the traditional concept of family. Fatimah is seen by these critics as the chosen model of a woman completely dedicated to certain traditionally sanctioned feminine roles. However, supporters of the choice contend that there is much more to her life story than simply such "traditional" roles.
In Islamic and especially Shia religious culture, Fatimah is seen as the ideal model of womanhood. She was daughter (to the Prophet), wife (to Ali, the first Shia Imam and Prophet's successor, and historically the fourth caliph), and mother (to Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali, the second and third Shia Imams, and to Zaynab bint Ali). She is seen to be ideally dedicated to the defining roles of wifehood and motherhood and, at the same time, assimilating the autonomous and assertive qualities that are sometimes associated with her daughter, Zaynab (in the latter regard, Fatimah is particularly noted for her tragic leadership in the brief interval between her father's passing away and her own, during which, according to Shia accounts, both her husband's right to Caliphate, i.e. Succession to Muhammad, and her own inheritance—the garden of Fadak—were forcefully taken away).
The Jewish population celebrates Mother's Day on Shevat 30 of the Jewish calendar, which falls between 30 January and 1 March. The celebration was set as the same date that Henrietta Szold died. Henrietta had no biological children, but her organization Youth Aliyah rescued many Jewish children from Nazi Germany and provided for them. She also championed children's rights. Szold is considered the "mother" of all those children, and that is why her annual remembrance day (יום השנה) was set as Mother's Day (יוֹם הָאֵם, yom ha'em). The holiday has evolved over time, becoming a celebration of mutual love inside the family, called Family Day (יוֹם הַמִשְּפָּחָה, yom hamishpacha). Mother's Day is mainly celebrated by children at kindergartens. There are no longer mutual gifts among members of the family, and there is no longer any commercialization of the celebration. It is not an official holiday either.
In Ireland, Mother's Day is celebrated on Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent.
Mother's Day in Italy was celebrated for the first time on 12 May 1957, in the city of Assisi, thanks to the initiative of Rev. Otello Migliosi, parish priest of the Tordibetto church. This celebration was so successful that the following year Mother's Day was adopted throughout Italy. In 18 December 1958 a proposal was presented to the Italian Senate to make official the holiday. It is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
In Japan, Mother's Day (母の日 Haha no Hi?) was initially commemorated during the Shōwa period as the birthday of Empress Kōjun (mother of Emperor Akihito) on 6 March. This was established in 1931 when the Imperial Women's Union was organized. In 1937, the first meeting of "Praise Mothers" was held on 8 May, and in 1949 Japanese society adopted the second Sunday of May as the official date for Mother's Day in Japan. Currently Mother's Day in Japan is a rather commercial holiday, and people typically give their mothers gifts of flowers such as red carnations and roses.
Mother's Day in Latvia was celebrated for the first time in 1922. Since 1934, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. After the end of the soviet occupation of Baltic states celebration was resumed in 1992. Mothers are also honored on International Women's Day.
The first mention of Mother's Day in Malta occurred during the Radio Children's Programmes run by Frans H. Said in May 1961. Within a few years, Mother's Day became one of the most popular dates in the Maltese calendar. In Malta, this day is commemorated on the second Sunday in May. Mothers are invariably given gifts and invited for lunch, usually at a good quality restaurant.
In Mexico, the government of Álvaro Obregón imported the Mother's Day holiday from the US in 1922, and the newspaper Excélsior held a massive promotional campaign for the holiday that year. The conservative government tried to use the holiday to promote a more conservative role for mothers in families, but that perspective was criticized by the socialists as promoting an unrealistic image of a woman who was not good for much more than breeding.
In the mid-1930s, the leftist government of Lázaro Cárdenas promoted the holiday as a "patriotic festival". The Cárdenas government tried to use the holiday as a vehicle for various efforts: to stress the importance of families as the basis for national development; to benefit from the loyalty that Mexicans felt towards their mothers; to introduce new morals to Mexican women; and to reduce the influence that the church and the Catholic right exerted over women. The government sponsored the holiday in the schools. However, ignoring the strict guidelines from the government, theatre plays were filled with religious icons and themes. Consequently, the "national celebrations" became "religious fiestas" despite the efforts of the government.
Soledad Orozco García, the wife of President Manuel Ávila Camacho, promoted the holiday during the 1940s, resulting in an important state-sponsored celebration. The 1942 celebration lasted a full week and included an announcement that all women could reclaim their pawned sewing machines from the Monte de Piedad at no cost.
Due to Orozco's promotion, the Catholic National Synarchist Union (UNS) took heed of the holiday around 1941. Shop-owner members of the Party of the Mexican Revolution (now the Institutional Revolutionary Party) observed a custom allowing women from humble classes to pick a free Mother's Day gift from a shop to bring home to their families. The Synarchists worried that this promoted both materialism and the idleness of lower classes, and in turn, reinforced the systemic social problems of the country. Currently this holiday practice is viewed as very conservative, but the 1940s' UNS saw Mother's Day as part of the larger debate on the modernization that was happening at the time. This economic modernization was inspired by US models and was sponsored by the state. The fact that the holiday was originally imported from the US was seen as evidence of an attempt at imposing capitalism and materialism in Mexican society.
The UNS and the clergy of the city of León interpreted the government's actions as an effort to secularize the holiday and to promote a more active role for women in society. They concluded that the government's long-term goal was to cause women to abandon their traditional roles at home in order to spiritually weaken men. They also saw the holiday as an attempt to secularize the cult to the Virgin Mary, inside a larger effort to dechristianize several holidays. The government sought to counter these claims by organizing widespread masses and asking religious women to assist with the state-sponsored events in order to "depaganize" them. The clergy preferred to promote 2 July celebration of the Santísima Virgen de la Luz, the patron of León, Guanajuato, in replacement of Mother's Day. In 1942, at the same time as Soledad's greatest celebration of Mother's Day, the clergy organized the 210th celebration of the Virgin Mary with a large parade in León.
There is a consensus among scholars that the Mexican government abandoned its revolutionary initiatives during the 1940s, including its efforts to influence Mother's Day.
Today the "Día de las Madres" is an unofficial holiday in Mexico held each year on 10 May, because it's the date when it was first celebrated in Mexico.
In Mexico, to show affection and appreciation to the mother, it is traditional to start the celebration with the famous song "Las Mañanitas", either a cappella, with the help of a mariachi or a contracted trio. Many families usually gather to celebrate this special day trying to spend as much time as possible with mothers in order to honor them on their day. They are organized to bring some dishes and eat all together or maybe to visit any restaurant. Also, mothers receive flowers, gifts, and multiple stores offer their goods discounted in order to stimulate purchases.
By country (N–S)
In the Netherlands, Mother's Day was introduced as early as 1910 by the Dutch branch of the Salvation Army. The Royal Dutch Society for Horticulture and Botany, a group protecting the interest of Dutch florists, worked to promote the holiday; they hoped to emulate the commercial success achieved by American florists. They were imitating the campaign already underway by florists in Germany and Austria, but they were aware that the traditions had originated in the US.
Florists launched a major promotional effort in 1925. This included the publication of a book of articles written by famous intellectuals, radio broadcasts, newspapers ads, and the collaboration of priests and teachers who wanted to promote the celebration for their own reasons. In 1931 the second Sunday of May was adopted as the official celebration date. In the mid-1930s the slogan Moederdag - Bloemendag (Mother's Day - Flowers' Day) was coined, and the phrase was popular for many years. In the 1930s and 1940's "Mother's Day cakes" were given as gifts in hospitals and to the Dutch Queen, who is known as the "mother of the country". Other trade groups tried to cash in on the holiday and to give new meaning to the holiday in order to promote their own wares as gifts.
Roman Catholic priests complained that the holiday interfered with the honoring of the Virgin Mary, the divine mother, which took place during the whole month of May. In 1926 Mother's Day was celebrated on 7 July in order to address these complaints. Catholic organizations and priests tried to Christianize the holiday, but those attempts were rendered futile around the 1960s when the church lost influence and the holiday was completely secularized.
In later years, the initial resistance disappeared, and even leftist newspapers stopped their criticism and endorsed Mother's Day.
In the 1980s, the American origin of the holiday was still not widely known, so feminist groups who opposed the perpetuation of gender roles sometimes claimed that Mother's Day was invented by Nazis and celebrated on the birthday of Klara Hitler, Hitler's mother.
In Nepal, there is a festival equivalent to Mother's Day, called Mata Tirtha Aunsi ("Mother Pilgrimage New Moon"), or Mata Tirtha Puja ("Mother Pilgrimage Worship"). It is celebrated according to the lunar calendar. It falls on the last day of the dark fortnight in the month of Baishakh which falls in April–May (in 2013, it occurred on 9 May). The dark fortnight lasts for 15 days from the full moon to the new moon. This festival is observed to commemorate and honor mothers, and it is celebrated by giving gifts to mothers and remembering mothers who are no more.
To honor mothers who have died, it is the tradition to go on a pilgrimage to the Mata Tirtha ponds, located 6 km to the southwest of downtown Kathmandu. The nearby Mata Tirtha village is named after these ponds. Previously, the tradition was observed primarily by the Newar community and other people living in the Kathmandu Valley. Now this festival is widely celebrated across the country.
Many tragic folklore legends have been created, suggesting different reasons why this pond became a pilgrimage site. The most popular version says that, in ancient times, the mother of a shepherd died, and he made offerings to a nearby pond. There he saw the face of his mother in the water, with her hand taking the offerings. Since then, many people visited the pond, hoping to see their deceased mother's face. Pilgrims believe that they will bring peace to their mother's souls by visiting the sacred place. There are two ponds. The larger one is for ritual bathing. The smaller one is used to "look upon mother's face", and it's fenced by iron bars to prevent people from bathing on it.
Traditionally, in the Katmandu valley the South-Western corner is reserved for women and women-related rituals, and the North-Eastern is for men and men-related rituals. The worship place for Mata Tirtha Aunsi is located in Mata Tirtha in the South-Western half of the valley, while the worship place for Gokarna Aunsi, the equivalent celebration for deceased fathers, is located in Gokarna, Nepal, in the North-Eastern half. This division is reflected in many aspects of the life in Katmandu valley.
Mother's Day is known as Aama ko Mukh Herne Din in Nepali, which literally means "day to see mother's face". In Nepal Bhasa, the festival is known as Mām yā Khwā Swayegu, which can be translated as "to look upon mother's face".
In New Zealand, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day is not a public holiday. The New Zealand tradition is to give cards and gifts and to serve mothers breakfast in bed.
In Nicaragua, the Día de la Madre has been celebrated on 30 May since the early 1940s. The date was chosen by President Anastasio Somoza García because it was the birthday of Casimira Sacasa, his wife's mother.
In Maldives, Mother's Day is celebrated on 13 May. The day is celebrated in different ways. Children give gifts and spend time with their mothers. Daughters give their mothers cards and handmade gifts and son's give their mothers gifts and flowers. Maldivians love to celebrate Mother's day, and they have it specially written on their calendar.
In Pakistan, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Media channels celebrate with special shows. Individuals honor their mothers by giving gifts and commemorative articles. Individuals who have lost their mothers pray and pay their respects to their loved ones lost. Schools hold special programs in order to acknowledge the efforts of their mothers.
In Panama, Mother's Day is celebrated on 8 December, the same day as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This date was suggested in 1930 by the wife of Panama's President Florencio Harmodio Arosemena. 8 December was adopted as Mother's Day under Law 69, which was passed the same year.
According to another account, in 1924 the Rotary Club of Panama asked that Mother's Day be celebrated on 11 May. However, politician Aníbal D. Ríos changed the proposal, so that the celebration would be held on 8 December. He then established Mother's Day as a national holiday on that date.
Palestinians celebrate Mother's Day on 21 March, similar to other Arab countries.
In Paraguay, Mother's Day is celebrated on 15 May, the same day as the Dia de la Patria, which celebrates the independence of Paraguay. This date was chosen to honor the role played by Juana María de Lara in the events of 14 May 1811 that led to Paraguay's independence.
In 2008, the Paraguayan Minister of Culture, Bruno Barrios, lamented this coincidence because, in Paraguay, Mother's Day is much more popular than independence day and the independence celebration goes unnoticed. As a result, Barrios asked that the celebration be moved to the end of the month. A group of young people attempted to gather 20,000 signatures to ask the Parliament to move Mother's Day. In 2008 the Comisión de festejos (Celebration Committee) of the city of Asunción asked that Mother's Day be moved to the second Sunday of May.
In the Philippines, Mother's Day is officially celebrated every first Monday of December, together with Father's Day, but it is not a public holiday. Although not a traditional Filipino holiday, the occasion owes its popularity to American influence, and is thus more commonly celebrated every second Sunday of May like in the United States.
According to a 2008 article by the Philippine News Agency, in 1921 the Ilocos Norte Federation of Women's Clubs asked to declare the first Monday of December as Mother's Day "to honor these fabulous women who brought forth God’s children into this world." In response, Governor-General Charles Yeater issued Circular No. 33 declaring the celebration. In 1937 President Manuel L. Quezon issued Presidential Proclamation No. 213, changing the name of the occasion from "Mother's Day" to "Parent's Day" to address the complaints that there wasn't a "Father's Day". In 1980 President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2037 proclaiming the date as both Mother's Day and Father's Day. In 1988 President Corazon Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation No. 266, changing Mother's Day to the second Sunday of May, and Father's Day to the third Sunday of June, discontinuing the traditional date. In 1998 President Joseph Estrada returned both celebrations to the first Monday of December.
A Filipina mother is called the "light of the household" around which all activities revolve, and in accordance with Filipino culture, is the object of filial piety. Common practices include treating mothers and mother-figures to meals out, strolling in a park or shopping at malls, or giving mothers time to pamper themselves. Most families celebrate at home, with children doing household chores that the mother routinely handles such as preparing food, or giving mothers small handcrafted tokens such as cards.
In Poland, "Dzień Matki" ("Mother's Day") is celebrated on 26 May.
In Romania, since 2010, Mother's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May. Law 319/2009 made both Mother's Day and Father's Day official holidays in Romania. The measure was passed thanks to campaign efforts from the Alliance Fighting Discrimination Against Fathers (TATA). Previously, Mother's Day was celebrated on 8 March, as part of International Women's Day (a tradition from the days when Romania was part of the communist block). Now Mother's Day and Women's Day are two separate holidays, with Women's Day keeping its original date of 8 March.
In Russia, the Mother's Day holiday was established in 1998 by law initiated by "Committee on Women, Family and Youth" of the State Duma. The initiative belongs to Alevtina Viktorovna Aparina, State Duma deputy and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Since 1998, Mother's Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of November.
Women's Day was first celebrated in 1913 and in 1914 was proclaimed as the "day of struggle" for working women.
In 1917, demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution. Following the October Revolution later that year, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Vladimir Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965.
On 8 May 1965, by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, International Women's Day was declared a non-working day in the Soviet Union "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."
In Samoa, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, and as a recognised national holiday on the Monday following.
In Singapore, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. The day is celebrated by individuals but not recognized as a holiday by the government. However, many companies offer special products and services for the day.
Czechoslovakia celebrated only Women's Day until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. After the country split in 1993, Slovakia started celebrating both Women's Day and Mother's Day. The politicization of Women's Day has affected the official status of Mother's Day. Center-right parties want Mother's Day to replace Women's Day, and social-democrats want to make Women's Day an official holiday. Currently, both days are festive, but they are not "state holidays". In the Slovak Republic, Mother's Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May.
In South Sudan, Mother's Day is celebrated on the first Monday in July. The president Salva Kiir Mayardit proclaimed Mother's Day as the first Monday in July after handing over from Sudan. Children in South Sudan are presenting mothers with gifts and flowers. The first Mother's Day was held in that country on 2 July 2012.
In Spain, Mother's Day or Día de la Madre is celebrated on the first Sunday of May. The weeks leading up to this Sunday, school children spend a few hours a day to prepare a gift for their mothers, aided by their school teachers. In general, mothers receive gifts by their family members & this day is meant to be celebrated with the whole family. It is also said to be celebrated in May, as May is the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus) according to Catholicism.
In Sri Lanka, Mother's Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May. Although relatively new to Sri Lanka, this occasion is now becoming more popular, and more people now honor their mothers on this day. Mother's Day is celebrated by individuals but is not yet recognized as a holiday on the government calendar. However, the day has a commercial importance with many companies that offer special products and services for the day.
In Sweden, Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1919, by initiative of the author Cecilia Bååth-Holmberg. It took several decades for the day to be widely recognized. Swedes born in the early nineteen hundreds typically did not celebrate the day because of the common belief that the holiday was invented strictly for commercial purposes. This was in contrast to Father's Day, which has been widely celebrated in Sweden since the late 1970s. Mother's Day in Sweden is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. A later date was chosen to allow everyone to go outside and pick flowers.
In Switzerland, the "règle de Pentecôte" law allows Mother's Day to be celebrated a week late if the holiday falls on the same day as Pentecost. However, in 2008, merchants declined to move the date.
By country (T–Z)
In Taiwan, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May, coinciding with Buddha's birthday and the traditional ceremony of "washing the Buddha". In 1999 the Taiwanese government established the second Sunday of May as Buddha's birthday, so they would be celebrated in the same day.
Since 2006, the Tzu Chi, the largest charity organization in Taiwan, celebrates the Tzu Chi Day, Mother's Day and Buddha's birthday all together, as part of a unified celebration and religious observance.
Mother's day in Thailand is celebrated on the birthday of the Queen of Thailand, Queen Sirikit (12 August). The holiday was first celebrated around the 1980s as part of the campaign by the Prime Minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda to promote Thailand's Royal family. Father's Day is celebrated on the King's birthday.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.
Tunisia celebrates Mother's Day ("عيد الام") on the last Sunday of May.
Turkey celebrates Mother's Day ("Anneler günü", literally "Mothers' Day") on the second Sunday of May.
Ukraine celebrates Mother's Day (Ukrainian: День Матері) on the second Sunday of May. In Ukraine, Mother's Day officially became a holiday only in 1999 and is celebrated since 2000. Since then Ukrainian society struggles to transition the main holiday that recognizes woman from the International Women's Day (a holiday embraced in the USSR and that remained as a legacy in Ukraine after its collapse) to Mother's Day.
The United Kingdom celebrates Mothering Sunday, which falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent (15 March in 2015). This holiday has its roots in the church and was originally unrelated to the American holiday. Most historians believe that Mothering Sunday evolved from the 16th-century Christian practice of visiting one's mother church annually on Laetare Sunday. As a result of this tradition, most mothers were reunited with their children on this day when young apprentices and young women in service were released by their masters for that weekend. As a result of the influence of the American Mother's Day, Mothering Sunday transformed into the tradition of showing appreciation to one's mother. Commercialization and secularization further eroded the concept, and most people now see the holiday only as a day to make a gift to their mothers. The holiday is still recognized in the original historical sense by many churches, with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus Christ and the concept of the Mother Church.
The custom was still popular by the start of the 19th century, but with the Industrial Revolution, traditions changed and the Mothering Day customs declined. By 1935, Mothering Sunday was less celebrated in Europe. Constance Penswick-Smith worked unsuccessfully to revive the festival in the 1910s–1920s. However, US World War II soldiers brought the US Mother's Day celebration to the UK, and the holiday was merged with the Mothering Sunday traditions still celebrated in the Church of England. By the 1950s, the celebration became popular again in the whole of the UK, thanks to the efforts of UK merchants, who saw in the festival a great commercial opportunity. People from UK started celebrating Mother's Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent, the same day on which Mothering Sunday had been celebrated for centuries. Some Mothering Sunday traditions were revived, such as the tradition of eating cake on that day, although celebrants now eat simnel cake instead of the cakes that were traditionally prepared at that time. The traditions of the two holidays are now mixed together and celebrated on the same day, although many people are not aware that the festivities have quite separate origins.
Mothering Sunday can fall at the earliest on 1 March (in years when Easter Day falls on 22 March) and at the latest on 4 April (when Easter Day falls on 25 April).
For many people in the United Kingdom, Mother's Day is now the time of year to celebrate and buy gifts of chocolate or flowers for their mothers as a way to thank them for all they do throughout the year.
The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In 1872 Julia Ward Howe called for women to join in support of disarmament and asked for 2 June 1872, to be established as a "Mother's Day for Peace". Her 1870 "Appeal to womanhood throughout the world" is sometimes referred to as Mother's Day Proclamation. But Howe's day was not for honoring mothers but for organizing pacifist mothers against war. In the 1880s and 1890s there were several further attempts to establish an American "Mother's Day", but these did not succeed beyond the local level. The current holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908 as a day to honor one's mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother's dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea did not take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker, who celebrated it on 8 May 1910 in Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA of which he was the founder. In a letter to the pastor, she said it was, "our first Mother's Day". Jarvis kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made the day an official national holiday in 1914.
The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a "Hallmark holiday," i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create. This economic modernization was inspired by US models and was sponsored by the state. She died in 1948, regretting what had become of her holiday. In the United States, Mother's Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like; Mother's Day is also the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls. Moreover, churchgoing is also popular on Mother's Day, yielding the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter. Many worshipers celebrate the day with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she is dead.
Nine years after the first official United States Mother's Day, commercialization of the holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.
Later commercialization and other exploitations of Mother's Day infuriated Jarvis and she made her criticisms explicitly known the rest of her life. She criticized the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she regretted having started it.
Mother's Day continues to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions.
It is possible that the holiday would have withered over time without the support and continuous promotion of the florist industries and other commercial industries. Other Protestant holidays from the same time, such as Children's Day and Temperance Sunday, do not have the same level of popularity. Mother's Day is also prominent in the Sunday comic strips in the newspapers of the United States, expressing emotions ranging from sentimental to wry to caustic.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mother's Day.|
- Father's Day
- International Mother's Day Shrine
- International Women's Day
- May crowning
- National Grandparents Day
- Mothers in space
p8 paragraph 4 "Texas was among the trendsetters, with the governor designating the state's first Mother's Day in 1909."
Enstam, Elizabeth York. “The Dallas equal suffrage association, political style, and popular culture: grassroots strategies of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1913-1919.” Journal of Southern History 68.4 (2002):817+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.
- L. James Grold (April 1968), "Mother's Day", American Journal of Psychiatry 124: 1456–1458,
Mother's Day, conceived by Anna Jarvis to honor unselfish mothers (...) Although there is no direct lineal descent to our modern Mother's Day custom, secular and religious motherhood have existed for thousands of years 10 May 1908: the first church – St. Andrew's in Grafton, West Virginia – responded to her request for a Sunday service honoring mothers . Cybele (...)
- Tad Tuleja (1999), Curious Customs: The Stories Behind 296 Popular American Rituals, Galahad Books, p. 167, ISBN 9781578660704,
Although attempts have been made to link Mother's Day to ancient cults of the mother goddess, especially the worship of Cybele, the association is more conceptual than historic. Mother's Day is a modern, American invention.
- Robert J. Myers, Hallmark Cards (1972), Celebrations; the complete book of American holidays, Doubleday, p. 143,
Our observance of Mother's Day is little more than half a century old [this was written in 1972], yet the nature of the holiday makes it seem as if it had its roots in prehistoric times. Many antiquarians, holiday enthusiasts, and students of folklore have claimed to find the source Mother's Day in the ancient spring festivals dedicated to the mother goddess, particularly the worship of Cybele.
- Helsloot 2007, p. 208 "The American origin of the Day, however, was duly acknowledged. 'The idea is imported,. America led the way.'"
- "Mothering Sunday", BBC, retrieved 4 March 2010
- Mother's Day 100-year history a colorful tale of love, anger and civic unrest, Desecret News, 6 May 2014
- Larossa, 1997, page 72(footnote 51)
- Louisa Taylor, Canwest News Service (11 May 2008). "Mother's Day creator likely 'spinning in her grave'". Vancouver Sun (Canada). Retrieved 7 July 2008.
- House Vote No. 274 (7 May 2008) H. Res. 1113: Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother's Day (Vote On Passage)
- House Vote No. 275 (7 May 2008) Table Motion to Reconsider: H RES 1113 Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother's Day
- Presidential proclamations from The American Presidency Project:
- 71 – Proclamation 2083 – Mother's Day Proclamation, Franklin D. Roosevelt, 3 May 1934.
- Proclamation 3535 Mother's Day, 1963 John F. Kennedy, 26 April 1963.
- Proclamation 3583 – Mother's Day, 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson, 23 April 1964
- Proclamation 4437 – Mother's Day, 1976, Gerald Ford, 5 May 1976.
- Proclamation 5801 – Mother's Day, 1988, Ronald Reagan, 26 April 1988.
- Proclamation 6133 – Mother's Day, 1990, George Bush, 10 May 1990
- Proclamation 6559 – Mother's Day, 1993, Bill J. Clinton, 7 May 1993.
- Proclamation 8253 – Mother's Day, 2008, George W. Bush, 8 May 2008.
- Sources for Bolivia:
- Nicolette Hannam, Michelle Williams (2011), German Festivals and Traditions - Activities and Teaching Ideas for Ks3, Brilliant Publications, p. 45, ISBN 9781905780815
- Robert A. Saunders, Vlad Strukov (2010), Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, Historical dictionaries of French history 78 (illustrated ed.), Scarecrow Press, p. 246, ISBN 9780810854758
- John MacIntyre (2005), The amazing mom book: real facts, tender tales, and thoughts from the heart about the most important person on Earth, Sourcebooks, p. 7, ISBN 9781402203558,
Lebanon in the first day of Spring.
- "Días Nacionales en Chile". Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Xinhua from China Daily (16 May 2006). "It's Mother's Day". SCUEC online.
- "Principales efemérides. Mes Mayo". Unión de Periodistas de Cuba. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
- Mixed emotions on Women's Day in Eastern Europe, euractiv.com, 9 March 2010
- "Calendario Cívico Escolar". Dirección Regional de Educación de Lima Metropolitana. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
- Kabita Maharana (2014-05-09). "Mother's Day 2014 to be Celebrated in US and other Countries: Best Quotes to Say 'Thank You' to Mum". International Business Times. Retrieved 2014-05-11.
- Ministerio de Educación y Cultura de Paraguay, Día de la Madre (in Spanish)
- Lic. Pedro Rafael Díaz Figueroa (27 May 1999), "El origen del Día de la Madre", El Nuevo Diario
- The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus (14 October 2009), Support for mothers remains the key priority of Belarus’ social policy
- Padre Fabián Castro (3 October 2010). "El día de la madre en el mundo y en la Argentina" (in Spanish). http://padrefabian.com.ar. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
La cuestión tiene que ver con el calendario litúrgico que la Iglesia Católica utilizaba antes de la reforma producto del Concilio Vaticano II. Allí el 11 de octubre era la festividad de la Maternidad de la Virgen María. (Actualmente se celebra el 1 de enero). Con este motivo era costumbre argentina pasar la celebración litúrgica al domingo anterior o siguiente al 11. Con el lento correr de los años la tradición popular fue fijando como el tercer domingo de octubre la celebración de la Madre y las madres.
- editorial (8 December 2001), "Bendita Madre", Crítica (in Spanish)
- seenthing (21 December 2010), Sejarah Perayaan Nasional Hari Ibu 22 Desembe
- Sources for Israel:
- Gil Ronen (9 March 2010), Knesset, Emunah Mark International Women's Day, Arutz Sheva
- Nechemia Meyers (7 May 2004). "No Mother's Day in Israel, but mothers have real clout". j.
- Wendy S. DeBano (2009), "Singing against Silence: Celebrating Women and Music and the Fourth Jasmine Festival", in Laudan Nooshin, Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, Soas Musicology Series (illustrated ed.), Ashgate Publishing, p. 234 (footnote 18), ISBN 9780754634577,
In 2002, Fatemeh's birthday celebration (observed according to the hejri calendar) fell on Thursday 29 August (20 Jamādi 1423) (...) Fatemeh's birth date is also currently used to mark Mother's Day in Iran, ritually recollecting, emphasising and reinscribing her role as a loyal mother, wife and daughter. Prior to the revolution, Mother's Day was used to promote the gender ideologies of the Pahlavi regime.
- Cordelia Candelaria, Peter J. García (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture (illustrated ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 375. ISBN 9780313332104.
- Jehl, Douglas (16 April 1997). "Mustafa Amin, Liberal Editor Jailed by Nasser, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Google Argentina festeja el Día de la Madre con un nuevo doodle", nanduti.com.py (in Spanish), 17 October 2010
- Sources for Janet Heyden:
- "Belarus celebrates Mother's Day for 15th time. The President congratulated the Belarusian mothers.", Belteleradio, 14 October 2010
- "Dia das Mães: shoppings têm promoções especiais". Retrieved 13 May 2012.
- "Mother's Day Popular in China". People's Daily. 14 May 2001.
- people.com.cn, sina.com.cn (17 June 2008). "Researchers and Experts Propose a Chinese Mother's Day". All-China Women's Federation.
- "Do we need our own Mother's Day?". China Daily. 16 May 2007.
- "Pühade ja tähtpäevade seadus". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Histoire de la fête des mères et celle de "l'Union fraternelle des pères de familles méritants d'Artas", Union des Familles en Europe
- Artas, berceau de la Fête des mères, mairie d'Artas
- Luc Capdevila (CRHISCO – University of Rennes 2), Fabrice Virgili (IHTP – CNRS), "Guerre, femmes et nation en France (1939–1945)", in IRICE.
- Michelle Mouton (2007), "From Mother's Day to Forced Sterilization", From nurturing the nation to purifying the Volk: Weimar and Nazi family policy, 1918–1945, Publications of the German Historical Institute (illustrated ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 107–152, ISBN 0-521-86184-5
- Ann Taylor Allen (February 1995), "Reviewed work(s): Muttertag und Mutterkreuz: Der Kult um die "Deutsche Mutter" im Nationalsozialismus, by Irmgard Weyrather", American Historical Review (Frankfurt A.m) 100 (1): 186–187, doi:10.2307/2168063
- TTN (13 March 2004). "Social change in India discussed". Times of India.
Prof Bradley Hartel from Virginia, USA, reiterated that cultural and artistic exchanges have led to a confluence of ideas and traditions between India and USA. He said that India is unique in it's [sic] adaptability of new cultures as is exemplified by integrating Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, etc, into it's [sic] list of numerous festivals despite the many protests. He stressed that many traditions are being universalised in a global world.
- Charu Amar (1 May 2009), "Kyunki saas bhi toh maa hai!", The Times of India,
Mention Mother's Day and everyone goes on a thinking spree to find the most innovative way to pamper their mommy dearest.
- Wardhani, Lynda K. (22 December 2010). "In observance of Mother's Day". The Jakarta Post.
- Chilla Bulbeck (2009), Sex, Love and Feminism in the Asia Pacific: A Cross-cultural Study of Young People's Attitudes, ASAA women in Asia, Routledge, ISBN 9781134104697
- Kathryn Robinson (2009), Gender, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia, ASAA women in Asia, Routledge, pp. 3, 36, 44, 72, ISBN 9781134118830
- "Ahmadinejad highlights women's significant role in society". Presidency of The Islamic Republic of Iran News Service. 24 June 2008. Archived from the original on 16 May 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
(...) the occasion of the Mother's Day marking the birthday anniversary of Hazrat Fatemeh Zahra (SA), the beloved daughter of Prophet Mohammad. The day fell on 23 June 
- Shahla Haeri (1993). "Obedience versus Autonomy: Women and Fundamentalism in Iran and Pakistan". In Martin E. Marty, R. Scott Appleby, Helen Hardacre, Everett Mendelsohn. Fundamentalisms and Society: Reclaiming the Sciences, the Family, and Education. The Fundamentalism Project 2 (2 ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 197. ISBN 9780226508801.
The more women try to engage the fundamentalists in their own discourse, negotiating and bargaining over their rights (Islamic or otherwise), the more frequently has the Islamic regime emphasized the ideal, the Fatimah model, the quintessential obedient woman. The fundamentalist regime in iran has yet to resolve its central dilemma regarding the role of women and male-female relationships: should women emulate a Zainab-autonomus and assertive-or a Fatimah-obedient and submissive? Given the logic of an Islamic marriage and the worldview it implies, the fundamentalist regime has shown a marked preference for the latter. Thus Woman's Day and Mother's Day in Iran are celebrated on the occasion of Fatimah's birth.
- Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (2011), Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran (illustrated ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 201–206, ISBN 9780195308860
- Mahdi, Ali Akbar (2003). "Iranian Women: Between Islamization and Globalization". Iran Encountering Globalization: Problems and Prospects (DOC). Ali Mohammadi. London and New York: Routledge/Curzon. ISBN 0-415-30827-5. Archived from the original on 9 June 2006.
This Shia vision of family is based on a nostalgic and idealistic notion of Imam Ali's family in which Fatima Zahra (the Prophet Mohammad's daughter) dedicated herself to both her husband and Islamic cause. Other role models for women often cited by the officials and ideologues of the IRI are Khadijah, the prophet Mohammad's wife, and Zaynab, daughter of the first Shi'i (sic) Imam Ali. In fact, the IRI [Islamic Republic of Iran] replaced the universal Mother's Day with Fatima Zahar's (sic) birthday.
- Shahla Haeri (2009), "Women, Religion, and Political Agency in Iran", in Ali Gheissari, Contemporary Iran:Economy, Society (illustrated ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 137, ISBN 9780195378481,
Such [feminist] gatherings would not have been so remarkable had they not happened against the backdrop of the regime's ceaseless effort to discourage, even harass, women activists and their supporters. Within the narrative of Islamization, the state's argument has been, all along, that such gatherings are representative of the culture of imperialism, and hence are subversive and against the public good and the moral order. Above all, the Islamic state has tried hard to co-opt women by appropriating the terminology and language: "protecting women," "respect for women," "gender complementarity." Accordingly, in order to accommodate, and yet control and channel women's movements and activitites, the state commemorates the birthday of Fatemeh, the Prophet Muhammad's daughter, as a national woman's/mother's day.
- Anonymous (1 April 2010), "La Festa DeLLa Mamma", Italian America (registration required)
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19 мая народ Кыргызстана отмечает День матери. Эта памятная дата установлена только в прошлом году, но сразу стала для кыргызстанцев одной из любимых.
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Mātes dienu Latvijā sāka svinēt 1922. gadā, bet ar 1934. gadu tika noteikts, ka šī diena svinama katra maija otrajā svētdienā līdzīgi kā citās Eiropas valstīs. 1938. gadā pēc prezidenta Kārļa Ulmaņa ierosinājuma Mātes dienu sāka dēvēt par Ģimenes dienu, uzsverot mātes lielo lomu ģimenes pavarda veidošanā un uzturēšanā.
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The legislature approved a proposal in 1999 to designate the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha – which falls on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar – a national holiday and to celebrate the special occasion concurrently with International Mother's Day, which is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
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(...) an audience with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on Tuesday on the occasion of her birthday, which is also observed as National Mother's Day.
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Church attendance on this day is likely to be third only to Christmas Eve and Easter. Some worshipers still celebrate with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she is deceased.
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