Mother’s Day is a popular holiday not only in the United States but around the world! This special day celebrates mothers and the important role they play in their families as well as their communities. In the United States, Mother’s Day is traditionally celebrated on the second Sunday of May, and mothers are often gifted handwritten cards, flowers, or jewelry. Of course, each family celebrates Mother’s Day differently and this global holiday is often celebrated in unique ways depending on what country you’re in.
If you recently welcomed a child home through adoption and are looking for a new, fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day, consider celebrating based on the traditions of your child’s native country! This will not only embrace your child’s heritage but also help the adoptive mother to feel more connected with her child. Here are a few countries’ Mother’s Day traditions to help get you started:
Unlike most of the world, in Bulgaria, Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on International Women’s Day, March 8. Bulgarians celebrate this day by gifting the most important women in their life flowers as a sign of honor and gratitude (“About Mother’s Day”).
Like some other countries, Mother’s Day in Burundi is celebrated on International Women’s Day, March 8. Although it is not recognized as a public holiday per state law, Mother’s Day remains a celebratory day as women and the role of mother is respected and highly honored in Burundi culture (“Mother’s Day in Burundi”, “Burundi”).
Mothers in China traditionally receive daylily flowers from their sons and daughters in honor of the holiday; nowadays, carnations and forget-me-nots have also become popular alternatives. A traditional Chinese Mother’s Day usually includes a large group dance and a tree planting activity as well (“Mother’s Day in China”).
In Colombia, the Mother’s Day celebration begins with breakfast in bed, followed by a big food-centered family gathering. Families often go out to eat mom’s favorite food. It is also common for the mother to be serenaded by a mariachi band while eating out (“Is Mother’s Day Celebrated in Colombia?”).
Costa Rican locals recognize Mother’s Day not only as a national holiday but also as a spiritual one in alignment with a Roman Catholic holiday honoring the Virgin Mary on August 15. Gifts that are useful around the home—specifically a deep clean of the house–are traditional favorites, as well as flowers and handmade cards. Children often prepare their mothers’ favorite dishes from childhood as well! There are many ways to celebrate Mother’s Day according to Costa Rican culture, but the most important part is simply being with loved ones on this special day (“Mother’s Day in Costa Rica”).
Our friends in Ecuador traditionally begin Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed, a bouquet of flowers, homemade cards, and other tokens of affection for mom. Ecuadorians specifically commemorate the woman who has the joy of raising a child, not necessarily who gave birth to the child (“When Is Mother’s Day In Ecuador?”).
In Ghana, some families celebrate Mother’s Day with parties, picnics, or church services, while others celebrate by allowing mom to rest while they do all the chores and prepare their mom’s favorite meals (“Tomorrow is Mother’s Day”).
Haitians celebrate Mother’s Day on the last Sunday in May. On Mother’s Day, everyone in Haiti wears a flower to honor their mother, and the color of the flower also signifies different things about the life of the mother. It is also custom that everyone attends an extended church service filled with prayers and songs to honor the sacrifices of mothers (“Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World”).
Mothers are known as “the light of the home” in Filipino culture, and therefore, Mother’s Day is seen as a significant holiday in the Philippines. Although there is a toss-up on when people celebrate—some celebrating the second Sunday in May while others celebrate the first Monday in December—mothers are celebrated none the less. Typically, children honor their mothers with flowers, chocolates, and small gifts. (“Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World”).
Motherhood and family life in general are highly valued in South African culture, so Mother’s Day is a fairly significant event in South Africa. Mothers traditionally wear a red or pink carnation, younger kids usually make homemade gifts for their mother, and older children often buy a gift, flower, or card for her at a store (“Mother’s Day 2023, 2024, 2025”).
While You’re Waiting
We would be amiss if we did not recognize that Mother’s Day is often a challenging day for many people. Whether someone has lost their mother, is struggling to become a mother, or is waiting to be united with their child through adoption, a day intended for honor and celebration can easily become immensely challenging. So, if you or a family member find yourself in that place this year, we want to encourage you that God sees you, He knows what you are walking through, and even though things are hard right now, He will “work all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
As you prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to honor and show appreciation for mothers. Ultimately, this day is meant to reflect love, gratitude, and joy, so no matter what you do—big or small—filling the day with things that are unique to the mom in your life is sure to make her feel well celebrated!
Are you ready to start your adoption journey? In honor of Mother’s Day, a $500 adoption grant is available for new families applying for adoption in the month of May!
These grants are available for AGCI’s international adoption programs worldwide (excluding transfers, Foster Care Adoption, and new developing programs: Honduras and Belize). Adoption grants are available to families who apply for adoption by May 31st, 2023 and contract by June 30th, 2023.
If you feel called to adopt, now is the perfect time to begin your journey!
Questions? Reach out to us to learn more.