Mother’s Day in Egypt is annually celebrated on March 21. A holiday dating back decades, the date was set aside in 1956, after a year-long awareness campaign by journalist Mustafa Amin. It is rightly said that God doesn’t send us to Earth with a manual, He sends us to a mother. A lifetime isn’t enough to express our thanks to the woman who brings life into the world and often nurtures the family, but we can give it a try. To mark the day, mothers across Egypt are treated like queens. They are granted a day of rest and relaxation while other members of the household take over their routine chores. If you want to go a step further and buy a gift, then check out our gift guide.
History of Egypt Mother's Day
Egypt celebrates, uplifts, and honors the mothers, and all motherly figures in the country, on March 21. It was the first country in the Arab world to dedicate a day to mothers. In 1943, Egyptian journalist Mustafa Amin published his book “Smiling America,” wherein he mentioned a desire to observe a national holiday in honor of mothers. For over 10 years, his wishes were paid no heed, until 1956 when Amin came across a widowed mother abandoned by her son. The wailing widow reiterated to Amin how she gave her entire life to a thoughtless child who wouldn’t even visit her.
The story revealed the harsh reality of abandoned mothers and disregarded parents across the country. Expressing sympathy and solidarity with the cause, Amin began promoting the idea of a Mother’s Day celebration throughout the country. The idea was initially ridiculed by everyone, including the nation’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser, but Mustafa anointed March 21 as the annual Mother’s Day in the newspaper “Akhbar el-Yom.” The day was formally adopted in 1957 and is now celebrated across the Arab world.
Mustafa Amin paid a dear price for his propagation efforts, including temporary imprisonment. Attempts were made to change the name from Mother’s Day to Family Day as well. Today, the holiday is marked with social declarations and celebrations across the country. Hymns are sung in public, and gifts are exchanged among the families. Restaurants offer discounts and an ambiance of joy is experienced by all.
Egypt Mother's Day timeline
The United States dedicates a day to the celebration of motherhood for the first time ever.
Mustafa Amin expresses an intention to observe Mother’s Day in his home country of Egypt.
Egypt celebrates its first Mother’s Day after a sustained campaign from Amin through his newspaper, “Akhbar el-Yom.”
After a year-long campaign, a front-page tribute to mothers is shared in “Akhbar el-Yom,” Egypt’s leading newspaper.
Egypt Mother's Day FAQs
What is the best gift for Mother’s Day?
Flowers, a piece of clothing, or jewelry, make for the most thoughtful gifts for Mother’s Day. Take it up a notch by taking over your mother’s chores for the day, or taking them out for a fancy meal, to express thanks for all that she does.
Is Mother’s Day in Egypt a religious holiday?
Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated to honor all the mothers of the country, and acknowledge the sacrifices that they make while raising their children. It is not a religious but a national observation.
What rights do women have in Egypt?
The women’s right to vote and equal opportunity is enshrined in the Egyptian constitution. The right to maternity leave and other workforce safety laws are also protected by the country’s legislature.
Egypt Mother's Day Activities
Spoil your mom
There’s really nothing more to do on this holiday than to shower your mother, or a motherly figure in your life, with love and appreciation. Send her gifts and acknowledge the hardships she went through to raise you.
Have a mother-themed movie marathon
“Mamma Mia,” “Stepmom,” “Terms of Endearment,” and most recently, “Ladybird,” are all beautiful films with glorious representations of the mother-child relationship and the tumultuous turns it can take in the journey of life. Put your leg up, fill that glass of wine, and enjoy a movie marathon with your mother.
Donate to an orphanage
While we gather to celebrate the mothers in our lives, not everyone has been privileged to have one. On Mother’s Day in Egypt, extend the grace in your life to those who find their cups empty. Visit an orphanage, and pledge a donation or volunteer hours, to honor mothers across the world.
5 Beautiful Traditions Unique To The Egyptian People
Always finish the juice you’ve been served when visiting an Egyptian family, as leaving remnants is considered a gesture of bad faith.
Right leg first
Step in with your right foot, when you visit a new accommodation or avenue, to bring good luck in with you.
The twitching fail
The twitching of the left eye is considered to be a bad omen by Egyptians.
It is believed that burying a weasel at the entrance of a home brings prosperity and wealth to the household.
No crows please
The presence of a black crow on a rooftop is considered to be a sign of bad luck or sudden death in the family.
Why We Love Egypt Mother's Day
A celebration of motherhood
Mother’s Day in Egypt celebrates motherhood. The single apostrophe in Mother’s Day signifies that it’s about every single mother in the country.
Womanhood is a thankless job
Women break their bodies to birth a child, and then, they drop their hobbies and personal preferences to make that child their first priority. A nation is built by loving mothers who raise kind children. On Mother’s Day in Egypt, we salute the spirit of womanhood and its resilience.
They deserve it all
Mother’s Day in Egypt is the one day we can be extra vocal about our appreciation for our mothers, and express our gratitude for the role that they play in our lives. On March 21, adults can make and renew a promise to maintain a year-long communication with their mothers no matter how hard it gets.
Egypt Mother's Day dates