When Is It Mother’s Day in the UK and How Do Other Countries Celebrate It?


Mother’s Day is dedicated to all mums as a day on which you can honour the special bond between you and your mum by showing her how much she means to you. It is also a good day to be thankful and show gratitude for all the other incredible women in your life.

In the UK the date on which Mother’s Day is celebrated changes annually as it always falls on a Sunday. In 2018 it fell on Sunday, 11th March and this year it will fall on Sunday, 31st of March. Next year it will be on the 22nd of March and in 2021 it will fall on the 14th of March.

Since there’s more to Mother’s Day than buying special gifts to express how much you appreciate your mum, here are some interesting facts about the history of Mother’s Day.

Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day?

Mothering Sunday, the traditional name for the 4th Sunday in Lent, celebrated mainly by Christians in Europe, was the day on which mums were showered with gifts. The modern day name is ‘Mother’s Day’ which has become the most commonly used term for this event while the premise remains the same.

Why Do We Celebrate Mother’s Day?

During the 16th century, the practice of returning to one’s main church in a parish on the 4th Sunday in Lent to attend a service became the basis for Mothering Sunday. On this day servants were also given the day off to attend a service at their mother church and visit with their family. It was a tradition to pick flowers on the journey to display in the church or to present to parents. Over time the religious aspects of Mothering Day were replaced by general gift-giving and by the 1920s, Mothering Day had completely fallen out of favour.

Thanks to efforts by other countries like the United States, by the 1950s commercialisation, had taken over and Mothering Sunday was again back in business with sales for the traditional mint julep cups soaring again.

How is Mother’s Day Celebrated in Other Countries?

Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the world with many different variations on the theme.

  1. France
    In France, the tradition of Mother’s Day only started in the 1950s. Before then, on certain days women who had contributed to restoring the population of their country after World War I by giving birth to large numbers of children were recognized and even honoured with medals. After World War II the government of France declared the last Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, providing it did not conflict with Pentecost, in which case it was celebrated on the 1st Sunday of June. The traditional Mother’s Day gift in France is a flower-shaped cake.
  2. Japan
    Mother’s Day gained some popularity in Japan after World War II and is celebrated on the 2nd day of May. Red and pink carnations are given as gifts as they symbolise purity and sweetness. Children often prepare dishes taught to them by their mothers and present their mothers with pictures they had sketched of them.
  3. Sweden
    In Sweden Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of May. Celebrations are very similar to versions in the United States with homemade cards and breakfast in bed. A major difference is that the Red Cross sells red plastic flowers on Mother’s Day to collect money. The profits from the funds are used to help mothers and children in need.
  4. Mexico
    In Mexico, Mother’s Day celebrations are taken very seriously. The day is always fixed as the 10th of May and basically, much of the country shuts down for a holiday, except for restaurants that serve Mother’s Day lunches. With lunches lasting for five hours or more, the holiday annually provides 200,000 waiters with extra work. According to the president of the National Association of Restaurants, Mexicans are inherently party animals and in Mexico, the mother figure is an institution. As their mothers are traditionally the ones cooking, cleaning, and working for them, Mexicans believe they ought to take mothers out and leave the housework to someone else for at least one day a year.