Mother's Day in South Africa

When is Mother's Day in South Africa?

Mother's Day in South Africa is on May 14, 2023. It falls on Sunday.

How many days until Mother's Day in South Africa?

There are 355 Days left until Mother's Day in South Africa.

Is Mother's Day a public holiday in South Africa?

Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world in many countries to honor all mothers and mother figures, although the actual date of observance may vary in some countries. This day focuses on recognition and appreciation to mothers in every family and all their contributions. Children, along with other family members, would express their love, support, and care to their mother or mother figures. On this day, all mothers are acknowledged including mother figures, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and aunties.

Although Mother’s Day is not an official holiday in South Africa, many people observe this event every second Sunday in the month of May. The holiday is a public observance marked by most countries. Businesses, offices, and other organizations remain open. Working hours for all laborers observe regular schedules.


Founding the Holiday

Anna Jarvis is the founder of the observance of Mother’s Day in the United States. South Africa was influenced by the holiday as well as countries from other continents. The holiday originated in the United States where Anna held a memorial for her mother on 1908 offering white carnation flowers, which is why these flowers also started to symbolize the celebration. Even though most countries observe Mother’s Day, majority of the nations do not have Mother’s Day declared as an official public holiday, including South Africa.

Growing Mother’s Day Celebration around the world

Anna Jarvis continuously wrote letters and had campaign commercializing the holiday she founded. Although the holiday was recognized and observed in the US, she specifically wanted it to be recognized honoring the motherhood in history and commemorating all mothers around the world. Eventually, the holiday was acknowledged and adopted by other countries around the globe. Different dates were followed but some countries followed the date marked by the U.S Congress which is on the second Sunday of May like the South Africa. Traditions and customs may vary from different countries, based on their customs and beliefs. As the holiday grew, the traditional carnations developed. The time comes where pink and red carnations were used as gifts for those mothers who are still alive and continuously support each of their families.

Mother's Day Traditions in South Africa

Giving Presents

Most people in South Africa offer gifts for their mothers. Younger children would make homemade presents and cards acknowledging the importance of their mothers in their lives. Mothers would receive expensive gifts like jewelries together with some sweets like cupcakes and chocolates. Some children would take their mother for a vacation to relax. Others would engage into outdoor activities such as going on a picnic or camping together with the whole family and some relatives. On this day, going to the beach or booking a spa day for the mothers, escorted by children is also a common practice for the day.

Traditional Carnation Flowers for Mother's Day

Carnations symbolize the Mother’s Day celebration in South Africa and in other countries for the reason that it is the flower presented by the founder of the celebration, Anna Jarvis, to her mother during the memorial. Until then, the church observes this tradition offering carnations as the traditional flower for the observance. These flowers are customarily given to mothers from their children. As carnations continue to grow during the Mother’s Day, each color is now given a special meaning. White carnations represent pure love, beauty, and luck. These are given to mothers who had passed in honor to their memories and also to those mothers who are far away from their children. The red carnations symbolize deep love and affection while the pink one represents admiration. These carnation colors are given to mothers who are with their children and family members. People would wear carnation based on their certain symbolization and representation.

Switching Roles

Mother’s Day is expected to be celebrated with the whole family. Mothers in the family would receive a special treatment for the day. For instance, children along with their father would switch roles to their mother when it comes to the chores a mother usually do on a day to day basis. On this day, children would do the house activities while the mother would take a rest. Fathers would prepare for the breakfast which majority of mothers usually do daily. Children would help their father do the household chores like cleaning the house and get everything set for a family meal for the celebration. Mothers are given time to relax and watch their favorite TV shows and enjoy music or essentially do whatever they enjoy doing for the day.

Dates of Observance for Mother's Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 May 14 Sunday Mother's Day
2024 May 12 Sunday Mother's Day
2025 May 11 Sunday Mother's Day
2026 May 10 Sunday Mother's Day
2027 May 09 Sunday Mother's Day
2028 May 14 Sunday Mother's Day
Upcoming South Africa Holidays
Holiday Date
Youth Day June 16, 2022
Father's Day June 19, 2022
Nelson Mandela Day July 18, 2022