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11 Countries That Won’t Be Celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday

Many Americans view moms as the glue that holds society together. Other nations agree, with the second Sunday of May being when many countries dedicate time to honor Mom. But several stray from the pack, and it’s often due to the nature of the origin of Mother’s Day.

1. The United Kingdom

Big Ben Tower in London.
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The UK’s Mother’s Day celebration has religious origins. Mother’s Day, which they also call Mothering Sunday, is acknowledged on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It usually falls between March 1st and April 4th. Historically, this was when people would return home to visit the church they were baptized in and, consequently, their mothers. 

Countries that follow in the UK’s footsteps when celebrating Mother’s Day are British Crown dependency countries Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, as well as Nigeria and Ireland.

2. Mexico

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Mexico dedicates May 10th every year to mothers. They go all out and, in addition to gifts, children regularly prepare songs and performances for their mothers.

3. Thailand

A traditional boat in Thailand.
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Thailand also observes Mother’s Day on a set date: August 12th. The day celebrates mothers with gifts and treats, but also commemorates the birthday of their queen, Sirikit, who is recognized as the mother of the Thai nation. 

4. Poland

Main square in Poznan.
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Polish children celebrate Mother’s Day on May 26th each year by making cards, giving presents, and saying thanks to their mothers or mother figures.

5. Malawi

Tea plantation in Malawi.
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In Malawi, Mother’s Day falls on October 15th every year. This is the same day that the United Nations observes International Day of Rural Women.

6. France

Eiffel Tower in Paris.
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Mother’s Day falls on the last Sunday of May or the first Sunday of June in France, depending on their Christian holiday, Pentecost. The history of this date is tied to the French government’s concerns over low birth rates, which they tried to reverse by enthusiastically celebrating mothers who cared for big families. 

Madagascar, Tunisia, Sweden, Senegal, and Cameroon are other countries that celebrate Mother’s Day at the end of May.

7. Japan

Waterfall in Nachi.
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Similar to Thailand, Japan originally celebrated mothers on March 6th, which was the birthday of an important leader — Empress Kojun. But in 1949, they adopted the Western custom and moved Mother’s Day to the same date as the US. 

8. Egypt

Pyramids in Egypt.
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In Egypt, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the first day of spring, March 21st. The history of this date is based on a journalist’s relentless campaigning to have a day dedicated to expressing gratitude toward moms. Egyptians typically do this through gift-giving and taking care of their mothers’ chores for the day.

Most other Arab countries, including Qatar, Oman, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia, celebrate Mother’s Day on the same date.

9. Ethiopia

Mountains of Ethiopia.
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Mother’s Day in Ethiopia is celebrated in mid-May as part of the three-day Antrosht festival. This festival honors mothers while simultaneously celebrating the end of the rainy season. Families usually come together and engage in culture-specific customs, such as a family feast and female rituals.

10. Norway

Fishing village in Norway.
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Norwegians show appreciation for mothers on the second Sunday in February. They express gratitude in the same way as many, by bringing Mom breakfast in bed and showering her with gifts and flowers. 

11. Indonesia

Temple at lake in Bali.
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Mother’s Day falls on December 22nd in Indonesia, the anniversary of the first Indonesian Women’s Congress. Indonesians take this day to spoil ladies with gifts, celebrating both womanhood and motherhood.

Countries That Don’t Celebrate Mother’s Day

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As far as the Internet is aware, it appears there aren’t any countries that don’t in some way acknowledge the selfless contribution of mothers to our lives. However, some people oppose it.

It is said that Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, later opposed the celebration because of the commercialization thereof. Others have strong opinions on celebrating domesticity as the female’s role, and the negative way in which it perpetuates gender stereotypes.

Mother’s Day Is Here To Stay

Son giving roses to his mom.
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The Greeks’ Mother’s Day evolved from celebrating the Mother of Gods. Americans campaigned for their day, and the United Kingdom’s holiday formed around a religious tradition. Regardless of how it came to be, nations seem to agree on one thing: Mothers deserve to be honored.

6 Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World That’ll Make You Step up Your Game This Sunday

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Kids and husbands, take notes. From double-digit day festivals to serenades, many countries partake in thoughtful Mother’s Day traditions.

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Piece of Travel.

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