Mother’s Day gifts and celebrations around the world

17 Feb 2022

Mother's Day

Discover Mother’s Day gifts and celebrations from across the globe. Will you adopt any new traditions?

Mother’s Day is a beautiful way to honour our mums, grandmothers and maternal figures. In the UK, we celebrate with cards, blossoming bouquets and — if she’s lucky! — luxurious chocolates. But what other Mother’s Day gifts are traditional around the world?

Perhaps, this year, you could take an international approach and incorporate some of these lovely celebrations from across the globe…

Grandmother showing her granddaughter how to knit

When do people celebrate Mother’s Day in different countries?

You may be familiar with Mother’s Day as a springtime affair, synonymous with daffodils and sunshine. That’s because, in the UK, we celebrate the occasion in March — on the fourth Sunday of Lent, to be precise. But not every country goes by this date.


In fact, the UK’s Mothering Sunday has quite different roots to Mother’s Day in the United States, and indeed to other Mother’s Day celebrations worldwide. Mothering Sunday stems back as far as the 16th century when Christians would travel to the main church or cathedral in their area (known as the ‘mother’ church) to honour Mother Mary. As time went on, servants were allowed the day off to visit their own mother. They would often take small gifts to show gratitude to their parents.

Bulgaria also celebrates Mother’s Day in March, pairing it with International Women’s Day on the 8th.


Mother’s Day in the US is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, a tradition created in 1908 by a woman from West Virginia. Anna Jarvis wanted to honour her own late mother and petitioned for the celebration to become an official holiday. President Wilson made it such in 1914.

Several other countries also celebrate Mother’s Day in May, although the date varies. Mexico, for instance, celebrates Día de las Madres on the 10th of May, while Dzień Matki is the Polish tradition, celebrated on the 26th.

Japan’s original Mother’s Day celebration was based on Empress Kōjun’s birthday: the 6th of March. However, in 1949, it was changed to coincide with America’s holiday on the second Sunday of May. Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Belgium all honour Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, too.

August to December

Later in the year, you’ll find Thailand’s Mother’s Day, which falls on the 12th of August, the birthday of Queen Sirikit. Malawi has a national holiday on the 15th of October, celebrating both Mother’s Day and World Rural Women’s Day.

In Spain, Mother’s Day, which falls on the 8th of December, is closely connected to Mother Mary. Indonesian Mother’s Day also occurs in December — this time on the 22nd.

Closeup: mother and baby

Mother’s Day gifts and celebrations around the world

As well as having different dates for honouring maternal figures, different countries and cultures celebrate with a variety of beautiful Mother’s Day gifts, celebrations, and activities. Here are a few that might inspire you:

Brazil: barbecues and picnics

In Brazil, Dia das Mães is the second biggest celebration after Christmas. It tends to be a multi-generational fiesta, with mothers, aunts, and grandmothers all receiving thanks. As well as presenting the special women in their lives with vibrant flowers, families will get together for delicious barbecues and picnics.

A favourite dessert that often features is Mousse do Maracuja, an irresistibly creamy passion fruit mousse garnished with cacao nibs. Why not try making one for your family this Mothering Sunday?

Japan: white or red carnations

After the Second World War, Mother’s Day in Japan developed as a way to comfort mothers who had lost their sons in the war. Carnations are the traditional Mother’s Day (Haha No Hi) gift, here, representing purity, sweetness and endurance — traits synonymous with motherhood in Japanese culture.

Perhaps your mum would appreciate a flourishing bouquet of carnations — red or white, you decide!

Small bunch of red carnations

Ethiopia: 3-day Antrosht festival

In Ethiopia, mothers are celebrated at the end of the rainy season in autumn. A 3-day festival, known as Antrosht, begins, celebrating the clearing skies and mother figures. Family members gather to enjoy a big feast together, and daughters provide the vegetables, cheese, and spices while sons bring meat. Alongside the meal, lots of singing and dancing takes place.

The UK Mothering Sunday occasion may only fall on one day, but there’s nothing to stop you from spreading the celebrations out across the weekend if you have the chance.

Mexico: Mother’s Day serenade

Mother’s Day is a great day for restaurants in Mexico! Families will take their mothers, aunts, and grandmothers out for a meal. Another tradition is to hire mariachi singers to serenade her with “Las Mañanitas” in the morning.

This traditional celebratory song includes the lyrics:

“Awaken, my dear, awaken

And see that the day has dawned

Now the little birds are singing

And the moon has set.”

USA: flowers, chocolates, and cards

In the United States, families tend to give similar Mother’s Day gifts to those presented in the UK. Children make or buy cards for their mothers and often buy flowers or chocolates.

If your mum or guardian is a cacao fan, why not make her day extra special with a box of delectable chocolates like the Happy Mother’s Day Sleekster? With its sunshine yellow packaging, it’s sure to brighten up her day. Does she enjoy a little tipple? The Chocolate & Fizz Collection contains a fabulous selection of truffles, slabs, chocolate puddles, and a mini bottle of boutique prosecco. It’s the perfect way for Mum to unwind on her special day.

Indonesia: flowers and a day off from chores

Flowers are also a popular Mother’s Day gift in Indonesia. Children will present bouquets alongside a greetings card to express love and gratitude. It’s also a chance for Mum to get a break from housework and chores. Why not take inspiration from Indonesia and send your Mum a beautiful bunch of flowers and let her put her feet up? Whether you do the washing up, take the dog for a walk or have a tidy, she’s sure to appreciate the free time on Mothering Sunday.

New Zealand: Mother’s Day gifts and autumn picnics

In New Zealand, Mother’s Day is celebrated in May. While that might be late spring over here, it’s autumn for New Zealanders, and families take the opportunity to embrace the gorgeous golden leaves by going for a picnic.

Gifts are also a key feature of Mother’s Day in New Zealand, with flowers and chocolates again being a popular choice. Keen to bring a Kiwi twist to your own Mother’s Day celebrations? Why not put a hamper together and find a lovely sunny spot for a picnic? You could make sandwiches, pack fresh fruit, and include a few of Mum’s favourite chocolates. A picnic is a lovely way to spend quality time together, get some fresh air, and enjoy some tasty treats.

Picnic basket, blanket, and food

Treat your loved one this Mother’s Day with delicious gifts

Whether you celebrate with a traditional bouquet of flowers or take inspiration from cultures and countries around the world, Mother’s Day offers a wonderful opportunity to show love and appreciation for our mothers, grandmothers, and other maternal figures. And if you’re searching for a gift that shows your adoration and gratitude, why not browse our collection of delectable Mother’s Day gifts. There’s something to suit every taste!

However you celebrate this year, Happy Mother’s Day!