There are many different traditions on Mother’s Day: giving your mom flowers, taking her out to eat, spending the day visiting and catching up…but did you know there are some specific Mother’s Day traditions tied to flowers and their meanings? Here’s a quick run-down of some of these Mother’s Day flower traditions.
The official flower of Mother’s Day is a red carnation, not as rose as you might think.
If you see someone wearing a pink or red flower, it means their mother is living. If they’re wearing a white flower, it means their mother has passed on.
Many people place white carnations on their mother’s grave on Mother’s Day.
During the middle ages, children were often taken on as apprentices by tradesmen who lived in neighboring towns. These children were allowed to visit their parents after Easter (a traditionally busy time for tradesmen). While walking home, they often gathered wildflowers to give to their mothers when they arrived.
In France, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of May. At dinner, mom is given a cake that looks like a bouquet of flowers.
In Thailand, children present their mothers with white jasmines on August 12, the Thailand Mother’s Day. The white jasmine is the symbol of maternal love.
In Finland, families take a morning walk to pick flowers for mom. One particular favorite is the small white flower called the valkovuokko, which has a very pungent smell.
In Sweden, Mother’s Day has an interesting focus on charity. The Swedish Red Cross sells small plastic flowers in the weeks before Mother’s day, and all proceeds go to help struggling mothers.