There are few things in the world as precious as a Mother’s love, and the month of May is the time of year that a substantial portion of the world has dedicated to honoring and appreciating the significant role that mothers play. Mother’s Day falls on different days depending on the countries where it is celebrated, and 2018 is no different. Celebrations in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan, the Philippines, South Africa and most European countries, take place on the second Sunday of May. The exceptions are Mexico, where Mother’s Day is always celebrated on May 10th regardless of the day of the week, and the United Kingdom and Ireland, where Mother’s Day takes place on Sunday, March 11th which is exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. No matter where you are in the world, Mother’s Day is a beloved celebration meant to honor the relationship between a mother and a child. Whether you call her “Mum, Mom, Mommy, Madre, Ma, or Mother”, this is a day to cherish, remember and give thanks to one of the most import members of the family.
Even though Mother’s Day falls on different days depending on what part of the world you may be in, there are many universal similarities. While some places celebrate the occasion as a national holiday, other places observe it in a more personal and family-focused way. In recent years, more people than ever are planning long weekends and mini-vacations in the month of May to celebrate Mother’s Day. Family-friendly travel is a growing trend as the warming weather and arrival of spring prove to be an optimal time of year for a Mothers’ Day holiday. Many hotels, resorts, and spas offer exclusive discounts and packages, especially for the Mother’s Day weekend. Make Mother’s Day 2018 unforgettable with an exciting excursion to one of the ideal holiday destinations below. This can be an exciting way to treat your mother to something special, and experience a new culture and this beloved holiday in a brand new way.
Mother’s Day, aka “Dia de las Madres” is an important day for Mexicans, and it’s a hugely popular occasion celebrated throughout the country. Dedicated events are sponsored by schools, churches, civic groups and entire cities. Mother’s Day historically began in 1922 when the journalist Rafael Alducín wrote an article advocating the celebration of Mother’s Day in Mexico. Though the practice had been taking place in small pockets of the country like Mexico City, Alducín’s article led to widespread observance of the holiday, and May 10th became the universal day of Mother’s Day celebrations in Mexico. One of the more unique aspects of the holiday in Mexico is that traditionally sons and daughters gather in the family home on the eve of Mother’s Day (9 May) for an intimate family meal. The next day is for the official celebrations and public observances. Most urban cities and small villages will have joyful Mother’s Day masses, and children will give their mother handmade gifts, flowers, and cards. There will also often be school presentations as part of the nationwide observance. Some of the best places to visit in Mexico include Mexico City with its colonial architecture and urban festivals, Cancun and Cozumel for some fun in the sun and beach relaxation, or Puerto Vallarta in Baja California for a real casual vibe with many art, food and music festivals taking place during the month of May.
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Mother’s Day in the United States is widely celebrated with acts of devotion by family members including, husbands, children, and extended family. This is usually expressed by giving greeting cards, small gifts and taking mom out for a celebratory Mother’s Day brunch or dinner. Although the Hallmark greeting card company is widely thought to have started the tradition in the US, it is simply not true. It is well documented that the holiday was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872 as a day dedicated to peace after the Franco Prussian War. It did not gain in popularity until 1905 when Anna M. Jarvis began a letter-writing campaign to garner support for a national Mother’s Day holiday after her own mother passed away. She reached out to influential leaders of the day including William Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Wannamaker. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state, and flowers quickly became the preferred expression of love for the occasion. In 1914, Congress passed a resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and stated that it was an important “Public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country”. Wonderful places to spend Mother’s Day in the USA include the bright lights and bustling metropolis of New York City, historic Boston Massachusetts, and the fertile vineyards and valleys of Northern California near San Francisco, as well as the scenic wide-open spaces of Denver, Colorado.
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“Haha-no-hi!”’ is how you say Happy Mother’s Day in Japan, and mothers are typically gifted with flowers as a token of love and appreciation by their children to mark the occasion. Young children will often draw pictures called “My Mother” and enter them into an art exhibit as a show of respect as well. It is commonly believed that the first Mother’s Day celebration in Japan took place during the “Showa” period, when the birthday of Empress Kojun was celebrated on March 6th. However, many historians claim that the day was introduced by the Christian missionaries during 1913. The celebration later became fully entrenched after The Second World War in 1949, and the date of celebration was changed to the second Sunday of May. Mother’s Day is now celebrated extensively across Japan with many festivities taking place, and it is recognized as one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants and shopping malls. Some of the best places to spend Mother’s Day in Japan are on an exciting shopping spree in Tokyo, a culinary food tour in Hokkaido, or by enjoying the harmony and natural splendor of Osaka.
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The family is one of the most import elements of Spanish culture and life, and “El Dia de la Madre”, aka Mother’s Day, is a revered holiday celebrated throughout the country. Taking place on the first Sunday of May in Spain, the tradition also has a religious aspect and is strongly linked to praising the Virgin Mary. Many families will attend special church services to honor their mother on this day. As with most Spanish celebrations, an abundance of food is involved during Mother’s Day celebrations, with traditional sweets and cakes presented to mothers by their children, as well as large dinners enjoyed by the entire extended family. Giving flowers and presents, like chocolates and greeting cards, are also quite common. However, many children prefer to give handmade cards and presents to their mothers to show their love and affection. Spain is a culturally rich and historic country and some wonderful places to spend Mother’s Day in Spain include the beaches of Barcelona, the fashionable city of Madrid or Seville, the culturally rich birthplace of the Flamenco dance.
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European Tradition in the UK and Ireland
Known as “Mothering Sunday” in the UK and Ireland, Mother’s Day takes place on the fourth Sunday of the Christian fasting month of Lent. Although it is not a public holiday, it is widely celebrated and become a day that families traditionally celebrate and honor their “mum”. Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday for greeting cards in the UK, with only Christmas and St. Valentine’s Day being slightly ahead. Although it is commonly celebrated in much the same way as it is in the United States, the origin of Mother’s Day in the British Isles historically has little to do with motherhood. It began as a “day off” for servants and laborers and people would go to their ‘Mother’ church and attend services as a family. Nowadays, Mother’s Day is a celebration focused on honoring the role of the motherhood. Children will give their mother a card and a gift. Younger children making their mother breakfast in bed is another common activity. Mother’s Day also takes on a regional significance as The Queen of England celebrates two birthdays each year; her actual birthday on 21 April, and her official birthday on the second Saturday in June. Queen Elizabeth is highly revered as the symbolic mother of the people and her birthday is also widely acknowledged at this time of year. A visit to historic London England, a weekend getaway to the lush green beauty of Dublin Ireland, or a historic tour of the castles of Scotland and Wales are all unforgettable destinations for Mother’s Day in May 2018.
Melissa is a passionate foodie, travel writer, and editor working in media internationally and in the USA. She has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has a background in the travel industry. Melissa’s writing has been published globally in many prestigious online and print magazines for over a decade. Her motto for life is “You cannot live or love well if you have not wined and dined well!”