It is not celebrated on the same day everywhere but it is always in May.
In Australia, we often celebrate Mother’s Day with large communal parties.
The typically Australian concept of ‘mateship’ also distinguishes Mother’s Day. This translates to Australians gathering to honour their mothers together.
Chrysanthemums flowers are traditionally given as gifts on this date.
Australians donate chrysanthemums because it is a typical autumn flower which blooms in May and because in Australian English these flowers are called exactly like mothers, that is: ‘mums’.
In Australia the celebration extends to the entire community and there are also various charity events organised on this day. The proceeds are generally donated to disadvantaged mothers within the community, but they are also used to create projects for local families or for the fight against breast cancer.
From an historical point of view, the roots of this attitude can be found in the colonial period, when mutual aid was essential. An attitude still valued today, whose meaning goes further beyond
friendship, and includes concepts such as loyalty and helpfulness.
It is commonly believed that the Mother's Day tradition was introduced to Australia in the 20s by Sydney born Janet
The woman, on a visit to an acquaintance in a state women's home, found herself chatting to many mothers who lived there alone and forgotten and she decided to collect some gifts for these disadvantage women. Since she had already heard of Mother's Day celebrated in the USA, she organized a fundraising event involving local businesses and asking for support for the mothers who lived in the women's house and the event gained popularity over time.
In Australia it is also common to give mums gifts such as spa vouchers or handmade presents.
Brunch places require a reservation on this particular Sunday and many restaurants have special deals and offer dedicated menus on this occasion.
They often have discounts for mothers and children dining together and they sometimes offer special heart-shaped pancakes or other cute dishes as such.
Children normally make handmade projects at school to celebrate mums and quite often a gathering at the school is organised for parents and children alike.
During such gatherings it is common to have a barbecue to which everybody contributes with a potato salad, a quiche or a similar course. Relatives like gathering to celebrate mothers and grandmothers and games are organised for kids to do workshops together with their mums.
It is popular to have face painting activities and pie selling stands aimed to collect money for the local charities.
On Mother’s Day plants and other cute gifts are sold by associations at street corners to raise awareness and collect money for important matters regarding mothers and women such as ‘violence against women’ or ‘fertility issues’. I think it’s a great idea because people tend to be ‘more open’ and receptive on this day as we all have a mother and we feel somehow more connected on this special day.
Surely it is important to value mothers all year round but if this occasion can be a positive way to gather and do good deeds I don’t see why it should be disregarded.
And you? How do you celebrate Mother’s Day in Japan?
PHOTO BELOW: MUMS FLOWERS