Tomorrow, 11 March is Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom.
Why does the UK have a different Mother’s Day to the US? In the UK, the original event had nothing to do with mothers. It was a day for Christians to visit their “mother” church. (church in their hometown) On their way home, they would pick wild flowers to place in the church – or give to their mums. In USA it was not originally linked to religion but was dedicated entirely to mothers.
As girls of color may have their roots in countries other than UK and USA let’s take a look at how 7 other cultures celebrate Mother’s Day.
- Haiti – They do not buy cards in which they write something touching to their mothers. They do not serve breakfast in bed to them. Haitians celebrate Mother’s Day with songs, tears and prayers in church. People would wear red Gimov if their mothers are alive. They would wear white roses if their mothers recently passed; or lavender if their mother had joined the Ancestors some time ago.
- Nigeria – Women will dress in their best attire to their various churches with their kids around them. Everybody will put on their dancing shoes, the atmosphere in the church is filled with singing, dancing and praises God.
- Japan – This day is a big affair for Japanese. A recent poll of 1,000 adult men found that 87% planned to give something to their moms. Japanese give their mothers gifts—primarily flowers.
- Brazil – It is the second most commercial holiday celebrated (the first being Christmas). There are special children’s performances and church gatherings, which often end in large, multi-generational barbecues.
- Ethiopia – Here, Mother’s Day is celebrated at the end of the rainy season, as part of the three-day Antrosht festival, dedicated to mums. When the weather clears up family members come home to celebrate with a large feast. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables, butter, spices and cheese, while the sons bring meat of various types, including lamb or bull. These will be included in a traditional hash recipe.
- Peru – In Peru, children often give their mums handmade items, which are reciprocated! Peru’s indigenous Andean population, however, also celebrates the gifts of Mother Earth, or Pachamama. Mythology cites Pachamama as the cause of earthquakes and bringer of fertility.
- South Africa – people wear red or pink carnations for mothers who are living while a white carnation is worn as a symbol of mothers who are dead.
What all these cultures are likely to have in common is that on Mother’s Day, mothers silently wish for a more relaxing, (work free) day but as mothers know, this isn’t always the case! It’s a very special day nonetheless. To those celebrating in the UK and other countries, tomorrow – Happy Mother’s Day!
Photo credit – pixabay