International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Mother's Day: Recipes and Traditions

Mother and child

Image by Din Jimenez

For millennia, motherhood as an idea and an institution has been celebrated by cultures around the world. The ancient Egyptians revered Mut of the primal waters. Greeks worshiped Rhea, mother of all Gods. The Chinese made offerings to the Queen Mother of the West. Romans adopted the Eastern cult of Cybele, the Great Mother. In our own times, Catholics pray to the Virgin Mary and Hindus worship Durga.

It wasn't until the 20th century, however, that we began to honor our individual mothers with a day of celebration. Starting in 1905, Anna Jarvis, an activist from West Virginia, was inspired by her own mother to advocate for the creation of an official Mother's Day. The idea caught on, and by the 1920s, children around all over the United States were giving their mothers gifts of cards, candy and carnations.

The occasion spread quickly to other countries around the world, and today more than forty countries have a special day dedicated just to Mom. In the U.S. and a number of other nations, Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday in May. Other countries observe it on International Women's Day on March 8th. In many Arab countries, mothers enjoy the first day of spring as their day of honor.

One of the most popular ways to celebrate Mother's Day is for the family to give her the day off from any work, chores or cooking. Going out to eat is common, and Mother's Day is one of the busiest of the year for most American restaurants. Many put together a special brunch menu just for the occasion.

You can make her day even more special with a homemade breakfast in bed or with a fine spread of mouthwatering international breakfast dishes at a table set with spring flowers.

International Mother's Day Recipes

Try these recipes from around the world for your mother's special day.


Individual portion of chakchouka

(North African eggs poached in a pepper ragout)


Beignets (American Southern powdered sugar fritters)

(American Southern powdered sugar fritters)


Pouring muesli into a bowl

(Swiss oats and fruit breakfast)


Man making batidos

(Cuban fruit and milk smoothies)


Bellini (Italian peach and sparkling wine cocktail)

(Italian peach and sparkling wine cocktail)


Scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam

(Scottish quick teacakes)


Whats4eats is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.