In Britain, 'Mothering Sunday' falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, the 40-day period of Christian fasting that leads up to Easter.
Legend has it, the tradition was born by Catholics and Protestants visiting their 'Mother Church'. This could include the church where they were baptised, the local parish church or the nearest cathedral.
Anyone who did so was commonly said to have gone "a-mothering". This religious day is now celebrated on the same date as the secular Mother's Day celebration, whereby we honour (and gift) the mothers of children too.
Inspired, OnBuy took time to consider how other countries around the world choose to celebrate the occasion.
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In Australia, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. A tradition started by Sydney-resident, Janet Heyden in 1924. At the time, Heyden would visit a patient at the Newington State Home for Women where she came across many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, Heyden encouraged local school children and businesses to donate time and gifts to the women. Every year thereafter, Mrs. Heyden raised increasing support for the project.
In Belgium, Mother's Day 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 serve them in bed, alongside any other presents (such as flowers or a colourful nail varnish assortment).
"In Britain, 'Mothering Sunday' falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent..."
Mother's Day is becoming popular in China, with carnations the most sold flower 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. In fact, in the People's Daily, the Chinese government's official newspaper, an article explained "despite originating in the United States…/the holiday is in line with the country's traditional ethics – respect for the elderly and filial piety towards parents."
In Ethiopia, Mother's Day is celebrated for three days after the end of the rainy season. It comes in mid-fall where people enjoy a three-day feast called "Antrosht". For the feast, ingredients will be brought by the children for a traditional hash recipe, with girls bringing spices, vegetables, cheese and butter and boys bringing a lamb or bull.
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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 and falls on the last day of the dark fortnight, in the month of Baishakh (April-May.) Lasting for 15 days from the full moon to the new moon, the festival is observed to commemorate and honour mothers and it is celebrated by giving gifts and remembering mothers who are no more.
In Japan, Mother's Day was initially commemorated during the Shōwa period as the birthday of Empress Kōjun – on March 6th. This was established in 1931 when the Imperial Women's Union was organised. However, in 1949 Japanese society adopted the second Sunday of May as the official date for Mother's Day in Japan. Today, people gift their mothers a varying assortment of flowers, from red carnations, to even a red rose tree.