How Countries Around the World Celebrate Mother’s Day Story

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, a holiday that was intended to celebrate “the best mother in the world, your mother.”

Although he made it a federally recognized occasion, the 28th president didn’t come up with the idea for the holiday himself—that honor lies primarily with Ann Reeves Jarvis and her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis.

India celebrates its mothers in a 10-day festival called “Durga Puja.” Taking place in the month of Ashvin, which falls roughly between September and October, the festival is both a religious and secular one, where participants celebrate the goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasur and hold their own family reunions.



Since the early 1900s, Poland has celebrated Mother’s Day, or “Dzień Matki,” on May 26 each year. While the holiday is not federally recognized like it is in the United States or the United Kingdom, it’s widely celebrated by the public. Most children make “laurki” for their mothers, which are homemade greeting cards decorated with hand-drawn images and notes.


American soldiers stationed in France during World War I helped to bring many of the Mother’s Day traditions from the United States—like flowers, cards, and gifts—to the European country, which celebrates its holiday on the last Sunday in May or the first Sunday in June. France often celebrates the holiday with extravagant meals, and restaurants book up weeks in advance.

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While most countries celebrate Mother’s Day in the springtime, Indonesia’s national celebration falls on Dec. 22. The holiday’s unique positioning can be attributed to the first congress of Indonesian women, which was held on that date in 1928.

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