Why Mother's Day matters?
Mother’s Day: A Celebration of Love and Life
Mother’s Day is a very special day to honor mothers for their contribution to building homes and families and rebuilding societies. Mothers have been the major reason why humankind species continue to thrive and exist. Mothers have carried us nine months in their wombs, a sacrifice worthy of recognition. But over and above that, the nine months is only the start of a journey of infinite love from their hearts. Their love, care, and supplication are resonating melodies that never stop echoing to all corners of the world.
Mother’s Day History and Origin
The celebration of Mother’s Day is accounted for through several historical events. Significantly, the history varies in countries where this is most celebrated. In mythology, Mother’s Day is indirectly related to the Greek celebration every spring. They worship the Mother of the Gods and Goddesses, Rhea, and her Roman counterpart, Cybele, every March back to 250 BC.
In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Monday of May, just like what the world mostly follows. This is believed to have originated as early as 1910. This tradition in the US began with Ana Jarvis of West Virginia. She started this kind of celebration in honor of her late mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church which now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. The reason for celebrating it on the second Monday of May is that it is close to the day when her mother died on May 9th. Based on stories, she once overheard her mother, who happens to be a social activist who formed clubs to promote peace and friendship during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865, prayed for a commemoration day to acknowledge the services that mothers give to humanity. This eventually became an anti-war movement of Jarvis, which is a way to promote unity in the world after World War I.
Together with another peace activist and suffragette, Julia Ward Howe, Anna Jarvis initiated creating a Mother’s Day dedicated to peace. It later became an official holiday with the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 calling upon all mothers of different nationalities to convene and build relationships with the general interests at peace. But in 1908, the US Congress rejected this proposal of making Mother’s Day an official holiday. Fortunately, with Anna Jarvis's continued and untiring efforts as regards this proposal, the US states officially observed it as a holiday by 1911, with West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, being the first to legalize it. But with Mother’s Day being a commercialized holiday, Jarvis regretted how the day has turned into a kind of business.
Similarly, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, and India recognised Mother’s Day as an official holiday on the second Sunday in May remembered by various festivities, gifts, and carnations, the official flower of the celebration. In Mexico, the holiday is celebrated on May 10th, and churches hold special masses for it. On the other hand, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries celebrate it on the first day of spring, particularly March 21st. Then, Thailand holds a similar festivity in honor of their Queen on August 12th.
France started its Mother’s Day celebration in 1910 to honor the contribution of mothers in rebuilding their population after enormous deaths during World War I. In India, Durga-puja, a similar tradition to Mother’s Day, is held by Indians paying homage to the mother goddess, Durga for ten days around September to October. In Japan, Mother’s Day became well-celebrated after WWII as a comfort to the mothers who lost their sons in the war. Japanese often refer to it as The Right Flower, where children give red carnation flowers to a living mother and a white one if their mother had died.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Mother’s Day celebration is often confused with Mothering Sunday as they share the same date and purpose. While it is true that they share the same meaning and significance, both have different origins. The Mothering Sunday began first as a Catholic and Protestant Christian holiday in the 16th century. People would visit their mother church, where they were baptized during what they call the Laetare Sunday. This is originally held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In this custom, families that had moved away will return to the original church they attended. It is considered a day to give honor and tribute to the Blessed Mother, Virgin Mary. This was the time when the spread of Christianity is evident. It is truly a family-honoured occasion where many families and children, professionals or not, are gathered and united in seeing their mother.
Since that time, Mothering Sunday became a well-established celebration in Europe until World War II. Its popularity started to decrease and was celebrated less in Europe. But this was later given life again when the Americans, Canadians, Brits, and other Europeans felt the need to give thanks and honor to their mothers while away at war. Eventually, this has become a yearly tradition being held every year in March.
Splendid Gifts on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a highly celebrated event every year. With the chance to tangibly express their love to their mothers, people rush to various stores. Mother’s Day is interestingly the busiest day of the year for restaurants, cake, and flower shops.
Significantly, this is the day to spoil mothers with a stunning traditional bouquet and a Simnel cake together with some other modern gifts like perfume, clothes, and jewellery. As Mother’s Day is also known as Simnel Sunday, families would gather around with freshly baked Simnel cakes. This is a kind of fruitcake characterised by its light texture, two layers of almond or marzipan, one in the middle and the other on top. Formerly eaten during the pre-Easter period, this cake is considered a traditional cake for Easter Sunday.
Freshly baked bread is also believed to be a traditional gift on Mother’s Day. The beautiful aroma of fresh bread baked by children usually became a sort of attraction for mothers to wake up and get ready for a superb day of celebration. Food then takes center stage as families indulge in a Sunday dinner with either roast lamb or veal on the table. This time, mothers are made the Queen of the feast with the sole purpose of making them feel happy and appreciated.
Letters, cards, and calls are also flying during Mother’s Day. However, as traditions have been continually modernising, most salons, spas, electronic stores, and fashion shops become sources of trending gifts to mothers.
Brits really love spoiling their mums. Almost everyone in the UK works hard to find time and opportunities to give or send gifts to the most special person on that day, their dearest mothers.
Truly, Mother’s Day is a wonderful time of the year where all are given the opportunity to sincerely express our appreciation, love, and gratitude to the heroes and guiding lights of the house. In one way or another, they have been the best at what they do which is ultimately to take care of their loved ones. For this reason, they are deserving of love, happiness, and joy as they celebrate the very purpose of their existence which is to give life to the world.
Thanks for reading 😊
Sophie Dearden x