Indian Mother's Day Traditions

Posted on 26th February 2016

In the UK, we’re all getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day next weekend – or, as it’s traditionally known, Mothering Sunday. The festival we celebrate is linked to Christianity and the Virgin Mary, but in India, Mother’s Day is quite different. You might be surprised to read about these Indian Mother’s Day traditions.

In India, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May – the same day as it is celebrated in the USA. Mother’s Day is actually a US export, not a traditional Indian holiday. Because of this, it is celebrated across India, unlike other traditional Indian festivals, which are only celebrated in certain regions or by the followers of one religion. It’s a secular festival; a day when everyone comes together to celebrate and thank their mothers. India is a hugely diverse country, and people celebrate Mother’s Day in their own ways. In urban areas many people celebrate in the Western way by giving their mother flowers and a card.

Some schools organise a Mother’s Day celebration, inviting the mothers of young pupils to watch a show in their honour. Each child does something special for their mother, from reciting a poem or speech to dancing or singing, and gives her a handmade card or other gift. Meanwhile, the mothers show something to all of the children in their classrooms, entertain them with dance and song, and bring in food for all of the pupils to enjoy at the end of the celebration.

Christianity is the third largest religion in India, and the Mother’s Day festival we celebrate in the UK, Mothering Sunday, has Christian roots. Indian Christians celebrate Mother’s Day in their own way, offering up a special prayer at the start of the day in Church in honour of their mothers. Children let their mothers lie in and make a special breakfast for them, and some will also buy her a gift. In the evening, everyone gets together to enjoy a meal either at home or at a restaurant to give their mother a rest from cooking.

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