Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a day for celebrating motherhood and thanking mothers. Mothers often receive gifts on this day, and it is a busy time of year for mail in many countries. In 1973, the U.S. Postal Service was held up for eight days because of the number of letters and cards.

Mother's Day falls on various days of the year in different countries because it has a number of different origins. One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Mother worship - which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods, and Rhea, the wife of Cronus - was held on March 15 to March 18 around Asia Minor. They insist that this custom spread around the world from there.

Julia Ward Howe wrote the original Mother's Day Proclamation ( in 1870, as a call for peace and disarmament. Excerpt:

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...

Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent (typically March or early April). It has been celebrated for hundreds of years, though the exact origin is uncertain. Tradition has it that young apprentices were released by their masters that weekend in order to visit their families.

In most countries, Mother's Day is a new concept copied from western civilisation. In many African countries, Mother's Day has its origins in copying the British concept. In most of East Asia, Mother's Day is a heavily marketed and commercialised concept copied straight from Mother's Day in the USA.


second Sunday in February Norway
March 8 Albania
fourth Sunday in Lent (Mothering Sunday) Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom
March 21 (first day of spring) Egypt, Lebanon
first Sunday in May Australia, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, South Africa, Spain
May 8South Korea (Parents' Day)
May 10 much of South America, Bahrain, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
second Sunday in May Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Slovakia, Taiwan, Turkey, United States (see Mother's day (USA))
May 26 Poland
last Sunday in May Sweden, Dominican Republic
first Sunday in June or last Sunday in May France
August 12 Thailand (the birthday of Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara)
August 15 (Assumption Day) Antwerp (Belgium), Costa Rica
second or third Sunday in October Argentina (D�de la Madre)
November 28 Russia
December 8 Panama
December 22 Indonesia

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