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IPFS News Link • Holidays

Mother's Day traditions differ across the world -- see how other families celebrate

•, By Mary Cunningham

When the holiday was first started in 1907 by Anna Jarvis to honor mothers, the day's event was at a Methodist church in West Virginia, where white carnations were reportedly distributed to those in attendance. President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 declared the second Sunday of May a national holiday. 

Jarvis fiercely advocated for a day dedicated to mothers and then famously regretted how commercialized it became. In the years since, the holiday has become even more commercialized, with consumers spending a record $33.5 billion.

Over the years, other countries have adopted Mother's Day, each offering its own unique take — some perhaps closer to the celebrations Jarvis envisioned.  Some countries celebrate on different dates, and others in May. Mexico celebrates on May 10, Thailand on August 12, Peru the second Sunday of May, and France typically the last Sunday in May, while the United Kingdom celebrates on the last Sunday of Lent, which varies each year.

There's everything from mariachi serenades to visits to the local church to traditional meals made to honor the family matriarch. No matter how the festivities may look, the intention is the same: to share an appreciation for the women at the center of the family. 

Here's a sampling of some of the Mother's Day traditions in other places around the globe. 


Día de Las Madres is celebrated each year on May 10, and festivities do not disappoint. Mexicans usually have the day off, so when the holiday falls on a weekday, they're able to stay home and spend the day with their mom.

"The mother here is a very important figure," Lola Barba, a mother of two who grew up in Mexico City, told CBS News. "The country stops when it's Mother's Day here."