Mother's Day in the Middle East

Category: Family
Mother's Day in the Middle East around the world in 2023

About Mother's Day in the Middle East

How long until Mother's Day in the Middle East?
Mother's Day in the Middle East .
Dates of Mother's Day in the Middle East
2024 Various Mar 21
EgyptThu, Mar 21Observances Holiday
IraqThu, Mar 21Observances Holiday
United Arab EmiratesThu, Mar 21Observances Holiday
2023 Various Mar 21
EgyptTue, Mar 21Observances Holiday
IraqTue, Mar 21Observances Holiday
United Arab EmiratesTue, Mar 21Observances Holiday
2022 Various Mar 21
EgyptMon, Mar 21Observances Holiday
IraqMon, Mar 21Observances Holiday
United Arab EmiratesMon, Mar 21Observances Holiday
2021 Various Mar 21
EgyptSun, Mar 21Observances Holiday
IraqSun, Mar 21Observances Holiday
United Arab EmiratesSun, Mar 21Observances Holiday
2020 Various Mar 21
EgyptSat, Mar 21Observances Holiday
IraqSat, Mar 21Observances Holiday
United Arab EmiratesSat, Mar 21Observances Holiday
Summary
The story of how 21st March became Mother's Day in Egypt and other Arab countries.
Where is Mother's Day in the Middle East observed in 2023?
EgyptMar 21
IraqMar 21

When is Mother's Day in the Middle East?

In Egypt, Syria and most other Arab countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21st, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

History of Mother's Day in the Middle East

This date is also Persian New Year, so it might make sense to draw a historic correlation between this time of rebirth and celebrating motherhood; but according to the collective wisdom of the internet, Mother's Day began in Egypt after the influential and pioneering journalist Mustafa Amin observed the American practice in his 1943 book 'Smiling America'.

He proposed that Egypt should copy this practice, but on March 21st rather than the third Sunday in May as is the tradition in America.

Initially, Amin's suggestion fell on deaf ears, but he was driven to campaign for the holiday after hearing the story of a widowed mother who had devoted her life to raising her son to become a doctor, only for him to marry and leave her without any show of gratitude. Eventually, he managed to get President Gamal Abdel Nasser to accept the idea (though Nasser did throw Amin in jail twice - so swings and roundabouts) and Mother's Day was first celebrated on March  21st 1956.

The practise has since been copied by other Arab countries, so that March 21st is now Mother's Day in Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman and Syria.

When Amin was arrested and imprisoned on the charge of being an American spy in the 1970s, there were attempts to change the name of the holiday from Mother's Day to Family Day as the government wanted to prevent the day from reminding people of its founder.

Mother's Day in Ancient Egypt

According to tourist expert Ahmed Diab, the idea originated in ancient Egypt during the pharaonic period. Their temples in Dendera and Samanoud attest to how they honored women and mothers, presenting them to the world as saints, and considering them to be the secret and source of life.

Isis, one of the most important Egyptian deities, was a symbol of motherhood and an emblem for the ancient Egyptian mother's celebration. The ancient Egyptians, like the Greeks and Romans, held a flower procession across Egyptian cities in honor of mothers on this day.

Isis eventually appeared as a sacred religious figure on certain temples in Rome, the ancient Roman Empire's capital. Diab said people regarded her as a wise lady and a magnificent mother, as their temples showed.

The concept was carried down via centuries from the ancient Egyptian civilization to various cultures, and it was passed down until it took on its current form.

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