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Daughters to Mothers : a 2020 Mother's Day Celebration

Today, Mothers to Daughters goes the other way around as we celebrate Mother’s Day in Canada. The most precious women in our lives were the inspiration behind the very existence of Mothers to Daughters. So for the occasion, we wanted to share facts and stories about mothers, and this special day.

No human was ever born without a mother, and many women who are not our biological mothers still give us maternal love and care. Today we all come in unison to celebrate the mother figures in our lives. Did you know that Mother’s Day in the United States is the day of the year with the most phone calls placed ? Whether she is still within reaching distance, or she is not around anymore, give your Mama the most simple yet powerful gift : tell your mother you love her today.

As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”

Kristin Hannah, Summer Island


The earliest Mother’s Day celebration happens on the second Sunday of February in Norway. Many Eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria, Albania, Moldova and Romania celebrate mothers on the same day as International Women’s Day, on March 8. Muslim countries often celebrate mothers on the day of the Northern Spring Equinox, also called the Vernal Equinox, which happened quite early this year, on March 20. Egypt and Lebanon chose to set Mother’s Day on March 21 every year.

In Ireland, Nigeria and Serbia, Mother’s Day is linked to Christianity, as it is celebrated on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, a period of fasting observed in remembrance of the Christ’s sacrifices. Panama also chose a Christian holiday to pay respects to mothers : the same day as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when mother Mary conceived Jesus without sin, on December 8.

May is the month that sees most countries celebrate their mothers. South Korea is gender neutral friendly, as not mothers, but all parents are celebrated on May 8.

The day most countries have chosen to celebrate Mothers is the second Sunday of May. Canada and many other countries celebrate their mothers today, such as Turkey, South Africa, Colombia, Burkina Faso, Italy, Vietnam, Ghana, Brazil, Suriname, Cuba, Belgium, Singapore, Bangladesh, Finland, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Peru, Denmark, Estonia, Japan, Croatia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Philippines, Ecuador, Netherlands, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, and more.

Other countries chose to set a specific date, such as Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Poland and Cambodia, celebrating mothers between May 10th and May 30th. The last Sunday of May is also a popular date, as Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mauritius and Sweden have chosen this day to celebrate Mother’s Day. It is on May 31st 2020.

Former French colonies Congo, Cameroon, Benin, Gabon and Madagascar, as well as France, also celebrate Mother’s Day on the last Sunday of May. But as Pentecost often falls on the same day, these countries decided to postpone Mother's Day to the first Sunday of June on years when the situation occurs. It is the case in 2020, thus this year mothers will be celebrated on June 7. On June 1st, Mongolia celebrates not only mothers, but children as well. Thailand chose to celebrate Mother’s Day on the birthday of Queen Sirikit, on August 12. Argentina celebrates mothers on the third Sunday of October. In Russia, Mothers’ Day has been established in 1998, and is celebrated on the last Sunday of November, which is on November 29th this year.

The last mothers to be celebrated are Indonesian mothers, on December 22!


Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother's Day in the US - Mothers to Daughters
Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother's Day in the US

You may wonder about the origins of Mother’s Day. The awesome History Editors give us some historical insight …

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as "Mothering Sunday".

Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church” —the main church in the vicinity of their home— for a special service.

While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated worldwide, traditions vary depending on the country. In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit. Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.

The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Following her mother’s death in 1905, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner in May 1908, she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of the Philadelphia stores.

Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off : in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. Once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity. Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. By the time of her death, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether.

Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers, and it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending.

At times, Mother’s Day has also been a date for launching political or feminist causes. In 1968 Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., used Mother’s Day to host a march in support of underprivileged women and children. In the 1970s women’s groups also used the holiday as a time to highlight the need for equal rights and access to childcare.


Sometimes, mothers make the most difficult choices out of love. They face hardships and ultimatums that compare to no other. That is why we celebrate all mothers! Here are a few touching mother stories from daughters, found on RD.

Today, we celebrate:

❤︎ Generous mothers

Thirty-five years ago, when my mom was twenty-two, she became a widow and a mother within the same month. The life she had imagined was stolen in a heartbeat. She tried to move on, but was lost. She gave me to my father’s family to be raised in the United States. Some call her weak ; others call her selfish. I could be mad or bitter. Instead, I’m grateful for the life I have and to have a mother who sacrificed our relationship to give me a chance at a better life. She is courageous. She is my mother. ― Andrea Cortinas

❤︎ Real mothers

I was chosen to be your mama,” I tell my four-year-old daughter as my younger boys pull at my clothes. She looks at me tearfully and asks, “Why couldn’t I grow in your tummy like my brothers?” “Well,” I tell her, choking back my own tears, “The doctor said I couldn’t grow a baby in my tummy, so your daddy and I decided to adopt a baby. That baby was you.” I hold my breath and wait for a more difficult question. “Can I have some ice cream?” she asks. “Yes!” I say, thankful for her innocence. ― Katina Brown

❤︎ Mothers who will always be right here

Coming home from work one day, I found my mom dancing to Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”. I watched, enthralled, as she moved and sang along, her hips twisting to the beat, big smile plastered on her face. It had been a long while since I’d seen her dance, so this display of pure joy was infectious. She died unexpectedly in her sleep a few weeks later. I have many memories of her that I’ll always cherish, but none quite as happy and carefree as her dance that day. It’s definitely the simple things —thanks, Robert Palmer! ― Beth Kailukaitis

Although many of us won't be able to visit, specially in the current times of social distancing, we hope you can all find your way to cherish your mother(s) today.

Have a Happy Mother’s Day!


The Mothers to Daughters Team


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