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  • Brigitte Opel

Mother's Day around the World


This weekend, many of us celebrate Mother’s Day. To celebrate Mother’s Day on the second weekend in May has been introduced by Anna Marie Jarvis in 1907, in memory of her own mother who had organized Mother’s Day Working Clubs during the Civil War to ensure food and medical aid for mothers in need. Only 7 years later, President Wilson introduced an official Mother’s Day in the USA. The tradition began spreading around the world and was adopted in Europe in the 1920’s.

However, in some countries it is celebrated on different days and in different ways:

Connected to the Christian calendar:

  • It is celebrated on Annunciation Day in Slowenia (March 25 in the Roman-catholic church) and in Armenia (April 7 in the Orthodox calendar)

  • Around Antwerp, Mother’s Day is celebrated on August 15, the date of Assumption of Mary.

  • In Ireland, Norway, and the UK, it is celebrated on the fourth weekend of Lent, typically 2 weeks before Easter.

And connected to the Spring equinox on March 21 in many Arabic countries in the Middle East. Or on the birthday of the wife the longest reigning monarch, Queen Sirikit of Thailand, on August 12. Wonder if that will change with a next monarch.

Since there is no Mother’s Day without children, it is very charming that Mongolia celebrates "Mother and Child Day", on June 1.

And just as logical that in South Korea, both parents are appreciated on Parents’ Day on May 8.

And many former communist countries in Eastern Europe celebrate the socialist International Women’s Day instead of the more capitalistic Mother’s Day, on March 8.

Anyway, to all mothers out there: Enjoy this day, the sticky presents and the usual flowers. And don’t stop to cherish the ones that - on this day - show their appreciation for all your support, your dedication and your care.


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