This coming Sunday is Mother's Day, a day celebrated around the world to honor and thank mothers for their hard work in providing for their children and keeping the home a great place to be for their children. While we know mostly about modern-day Mother's Day that started less than 150 years ago, a celebration of mothers has been going on for millennia in various forms.
Mother's Day isn't held at the same time all over the world. Most countries including the United States celebrate it on the second Sunday in May. Many others celebrate it in March, including the U.K. and Ireland and many countries in the Middle East. Whatever the date, the sentiments are all similar -- thanking Mom for all she does.
In the United States and Western Europe, making Mom breakfast in bed or taking her to brunch is a common practice. Children often make cards in school and present them to their mothers along with some chocolate, flowers or a gift certificate to her favorite place for a nice meal, some new clothes or a trip to the spa.
In Italy, mothers often receive a cake in the shape of a heart, while in Ethiopia, it's a three day celebration where the girls provide the fruit and vegetables and the boys bring the meat.
While some communist and socialist countries prefer to celebrate International Woman's Day instead, Mother's Day is gaining popularity in China. Red carnations are a common gift there. In fact, red carnations are a common gift for Mom on her day.
Colored (especially red) carnations are usually worn if Mom is alive and white carnations are used to memorialize a mother who is no longer living. Mother's Day is also a relatively new celebration in India, with similar customs to those living in the United States and Western Europe.
Australia celebrates Mother's Day in grand style too, similar to the United States and Britain, with a woman's favorite meal presented to her, along with home-made gifts and cards from children, a gift certificate from Dad and with Mom generally allowed to relax for the day with no cooking, housework involved. Australians also use different colored carnations to honor their mothers.