Is There Mother’s Day in China?

Do They Celebrate Mother’s Day in China?

By: Karen Le


Mothers are important all around the world. Here in Canada, we dedicate a day for mothers in May but do they celebrate Mother’s Day in China or other countries?

Parents, in general, are responsible for keeping us healthy and teaching us to become adults. A heavy emphasis is placed on motherhood to care for her children.

The norm here in Canada for Mother’s Day gifts seems to be with homemade meals, flowers and cards.

For other families, celebrating Mother’s Day might look a little different. Immigrants that come to Canada often bring along the traditions of their culture and motherland.

The best gifts for these moms are when their children surprise them with a little piece of home.

As a multicultural nation, show thanks to your mothers by celebrating their traditions.

Mother’s Day in China

So, do they celebrate Mother’s Day in China?

The answer is yes, but Mother’s Day is not the only western holiday celebrated in the East. Read about “Valentine’s Day in Asia

It is still seen as more of a western holiday though so many people generally celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Why Celebrate Mother’s Day in China?

If Mother’s Day is seen as a western holiday, why do they celebrate it in China?

The concept of Mother’s Day follows the traditional principles of Chinese culture. Showing appreciation to your parents and respecting your elders plays a big role.

There is also the story of Mencius’ mother, Zhang.

Mencius or Mengzi was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who has often been described as the “Second Sage”, that is, after only Confucius himself.

The story is about how Zhang moved to three different houses to find the perfect location to raise her son.

Coming from a poor family, Mencius’ father passed away while he was young, leaving his mother to raise him alone. The first location was beside a cemetery. Zhang would often find baby Mencius imitating mourners in funeral processions so she decided to move.

The second house was near a market in their village. There the boy began to imitate the cries of merchants which were seen as a threat to social harmony for market manipulation and exploiting farmers in ancient China. Afraid for her son’s future, Zhang moved again.

The third and last house was next to a school. Inspired by the school’s scholars and students, Mencius studied diligently which led him to become the scholar he is now known as.

The story became famous for emphasizing the importance of finding the proper environment for raising children to ensure their happiness.

How to Celebrate

To honour Mencius’ mother, the official Mother’s Day in China is on his mother’s birthday which falls on the second day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar every year.

Lilies and carnations are the most common gifts for mothers in China.

It is said that mothers will plant tiger lilies to show their grief when a child leaves home.

If flowers don’t do the trick, helping out around the house, cooking food and generally easing Mom’s workload is another “gift” idea for Chinese mothers.

Of course, store-bought gifts are appreciated as well, although the best gifts are personal and full of meaning!

There are many similarities between Mother’s Day here and in China. Hopefully, this article helps impress your mom with your new knowledge! Just remember to show her how much you mean to her and your thanks not just on Mother’s Day, but every day!


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