How Mother’s Day is celebrated in Asian countries

Here in North America we celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. Traditionally, young children make arts and crafts at school and mom is feted with breakfast in bed or brunch with the family. Sometimes other gifts are involved, of course. We are guessing you have probably already been inundated with gift ideas over the past few weeks! But we’ll take a look at how different Asian countries celebrate mom and what we discovered about flowers. I personally love peonies and so does my mom!

CHINA: traditionally Mother’s Day is celebrated by the Lunar Calendar on the second day of the fourth month but it’s not uncommon today for many to recognize on the same day as westerners. However, according to historians, the mother of Mencius (philosopher) was highly respected. Legend tells us that Mencius’ mother moved three times before she found the right place to raise her child. The popularity of the day is in line with the culture’s traditions of respecting your parents as well as cherishing the love between other and her children. Various universities and colleges also raise money to help poor moms in rural areas. Children would give their mothers Hemerocallis flowers or carnations.

JAPAN: back in early 1930s, Mother’s Day coincided with Empress Kojun’s (mother of Emperor Akihito) birthday on March 6 but later it became an official national day and now celebrated the same day as western countries. Dishes made with eggs are eaten (tamagoyaki and chawanmushi are popular dishes). Children offer their mothers gifts. Red carnations are popular gifts.

SOUTH KOREA: Instead of a separate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Korean celebrate “Parents’ Day” on May 8th. It is to pay respect to parents for their unconditional love and sacrifices they’ve made in shaping their children as responsible human beings. Traditionally children make carnations and place them on their parents’ chest. Carnations and roses are flowers of choice. Gifts and cards are also given to the parents. We also learned recent popular gifts for parents include  cosmetic surgery to help them look and feel younger again.

SINGAPORE: Mother’s Day seems like a perfect reason to share a feast with mom! From brunches to fancy hotels and fine dining establishments, Singaporeans know that mom is the best and deserves to be treated out — not having to worry about the dishes.

THAILAND: actually celebrates Mother’s Day on August 12 which is also the Queen’s birthday. The Thai people see the Queen as being the mother of the nation but the celebration is quite modern. The first one was held in 1976 as the national fell in love with the Queen for her devotion for the well-being of the people. Colourful decorations, lights, and floral garlands are everywhere. The Thai also take the time to recognize and thank their own mothers. White Jasmine flowers are popular as they symbolize a mother’s eternal love.



Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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