Google honours Mother's Day with doodle across the Middle East and North Africa

The day coincides with the spring equinox

Google is paying homage to Arab Mother's Day with a beautiful series of illustrations of a mum and her child holding hands. Photo: Google
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Countries across the Arab world are being presented with a special Google Doodle today to mark Mother's Day in the region.

While there are days to honour mums throughout the world, there are different dates for various regions.

In the Mena region, it's on March 21 to coincide with the spring equinox, which falls on March 19, 20 or 21 each year.

The holiday was officially introduced in Egypt in 1956 by journalist Mustafa Amin, who chose the first day of spring as the annual day of celebration.

The doodle shows a rotating series of illustrations of a child and mother's hands in pastel and earthen hues. They hold hands, read braille, wash under a tap and tend to a plant.

Google Doodle Mother's Day 2022

Information on the illustrator is not being shared, but the Google reach is, with a map showing it's visible across the region, from Morocco to Oman.

Last year, there was an interactive doodle and digital card-maker for the region.

It's not only Arab countries that celebrate Mother's Day on March 21, as several other African nations do, too, including Djibouti, Comoros and Mauritania.

Scroll through the gallery below to see more regional Google Doodles:

Other countries, such as Norway, mark the day in February, although many others celebrate at various dates during March.

The UK's Mother's Day this year falls on March 27, to coincide with the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Motherhood has been celebrated for centuries, with the ancient Greeks and Romans each holding festivals dedicated to honouring the mother goddesses, Rhea and Cybele, who played a vital role in their culture and beliefs.

But the earliest celebration of Mother’s Day as we know it today can be traced to the early Christian festival known as Mothering Sunday, which has been marked since the 8th century.

Celebrated on the fourth Sunday during Lent, the celebration was initially intended to encourage people to return to their local or “mother” church for a special yearly service. However, over the centuries, the meaning evolved to incorporate the celebration of family, and specifically mothers.

While the religious aspect of Mother’s Day, for the most part, has been lost, the tradition of celebrating the day on the fourth Sunday during Lent has remained in the UK and Ireland. While the date changes each year, dictated by the Paschal Full Moon — the first full moon on or after the spring equinox — Mother’s Day is usually celebrated in March.

Updated: March 21, 2022, 10:28 AM