What day is mother’s day? Is it on the second Sunday or last Sunday of May? Are you sure Mother’s Day is even in May? Surprise, Mother’s day is celebrated on all those days, depending on what part of the world you ask. Here’s a list of all the mother’s day dates celebrated around the world.
Mothers day in France
In France, Mother’s day is celebrated on the last Sunday of May, unless it coincides with Pentecost day in France, then Mother’s Day is moved to the first Sunday of June.
But I didn’t know that when I first moved to France.
Mother’s Day in French is called “Fête des mères”
My First Mothers Day In France (or was it?)
On the Friday before what I thought was Mother’s day, I expected my preschooler to come home with a handcrafted Mother’s day gift. To my surprise, she came home empty-handed. No card, no drawing, not even one of those macaroni necklaces.
No big deal, I thought. “Maybe kids in France don’t make handmade gifts at school for mother’s day, just like it’s not customary for kids to pass out Valentine’s day cards on Valentine’s day to each other at school.”
To my surprise, flower shops were not open on Sunday either. Most shops were closed, and it looked like any other Sunday in France. I didn’t give it a second thought until 2 weeks later, the last Sunday of May.
My daughter ran into the kitchen and blurted, very proudly, “Maman, Bonne fête des mères. J’ai un Cadeau pour toi!” which means “Mommy, happy mothers’ day, I have a present for you.”
She stuck out her hand and gave me a handmade card with the words “Bonne Fête Maman” (‘Happy Mother’s day), written in her scratchy preschool handwriting.
Flower shops were abuzz with special Mother’s day bouquets; restaurants had special mother’s day meals, which required a reservation. Overall, Mother’s day in France is celebrated much like it’s celebrated in North America, and world order was restored.
Dates and list of all countries that celebrate some form of Mothers Day Around The World
France isn’t the only country that celebrates mother’s on the last Sunday of May.
In fact, there are over 30 different mothers day dates around the world; not all of those days are called mothers’ day; for instance, in the UK and Ireland, it’s called “Mothering day.”
Here’s a complete breakdown of countries that celebrate some form of mothers’ day grouped by date.
Second Sunday of May:
(103 countries celebrate Mothers Day on this date)
- Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Australia, Austria,
- Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Barbuda, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei
- Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central Africa, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech
- Denmark, Dominica
- Ecuador, Equatorial, Estonia, Ethiopia
- Faroe, Fiji, Finland
- Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guyana
- Honduras, Hong
- Iceland, India, Italy
- Jamaica, Japan
- Kenya, Kitts, Kong
- Lanka, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lucia
- Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, Namibia
- Netherlands, Nevis
- Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland
- Taiwan, Tanzania, Tobago, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey
- Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay
- Venezuela, Vietnam, Vincent
- Zambia, Zealand, Zimbabwe
21st of March Spring Equinox
( 21 countries)
- Arabia, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen,
1st Sunday of May
- Angola, Cape, Verde, Hungary, Lithuania, Mozambique, Portugal, Spain.
last Sunday of May
(14 countries )
If Mothers’ day falls on Pentecost day, Mother’s day is moved to the first Sunday of June.
- Algeria, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, France, French Antilles, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Haiti, Mauritius, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia
8th of March “International Woman’s Day”
- Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Burkina, Faso, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Laos, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
Fourth Sunday of Lent “Mothering Sunday”
Lent is usually in March.
- Guernsey, Ireland, Isle Of Man, Man, Jersey, Nigeria, United Kingdom
(1 country and 1 city)
- August 15 is also Assomption Mary day.
- Costa Rica
- Antwerp (Belgium). The rest of Belgium celebrates on the second Sunday of May.
26 countries celebrate mothers day on these random dates
- Norway: 2nd Sunday of Feb
- Georgia: 3rd of March
- Slovenia: 25th of March
- Armenia: 7th of April
- South Korea: on the 8th of May
- El Salvador: on 10th May
- Benin: on 14 of May
- Paraguay: 15 of May
- Kyrgyzstan (Russian): 19th of May
- Israel: 22nd of May
- Poland: 26th of May
- Bolivia: 27th of May
- Nicaragua: 30th of May
- Mongolia: 1st of June
- Luxembourg: 2nd Sunday of June
- South Sudan: 1st Monday of July
- Thailand: 2nd August
- Belarus: 14th Octobre
- Malawi: 15th of October
- Argentina: 3rd Sunday of October
- Timor Leste: 3rd of November,
- North Korea: 16th of November,
- Russia: Last Sunday of November
- Panama: 8th of December,
- Indonesia: 22nd of December
- India: Two different people from India told me that the concept of celebrating on the 2nd Sunday of may is slowly catching on, but some Hindu people celebrate mothers in a festival called Durga Puja, which is a ten-day celebration in October.
Mothers are important around the world.
Regardless of the date or what the people of a country call this day dedicated to mothers, the spirit of the celebrations is usually the same or similar—to honour the mother (or female) of the family, motherhood, the maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.
Every country has its fair share of bank holidays and France is no different. Here is a complete list explanation, and timeline of all the holidays in France including French school holidays, plus a few notable celebrations and festivals.
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Source of mothers day dates around the world.