Contributed by Canterbury Vines Studios
Mother's Day is just around the corner. How can we thank the Woman who will do anything for us, support us, cheer us up, remind us how wonderful we are, while at the same time urging us to be our best? Well, regardless if you have a down to earth mom, a fashion diva mom, outdoorsy mom, sophisticated, exotic, funky, etc. your mom will always love something from your heart.
I researched the history of Mother's Day and thought you would be interested in how it came about and what other countries might do. Don't forget to check out the shop to find a really great, unique, and one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that your mom will love and wear all the time.
The modern Mother's Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April, or May as a day to honor mothers and motherhood. Contrary to popular belief, Mother's Day was not conceived in the boardroom of Hallmark. The earliest tributes to mothers date back to the annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings ancient Romans made to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Christians celebrated this festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of Mary, mother of Christ. In England this holiday was expanded to include all mothers and was called Mothering Sunday. The ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.
In the United States, Mother's Day started nearly 150 years ago, when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community, a cause she believed would be best advocated by mothers. She called it "Mother's Work Day."
In 1905 when Anna Jarvis died, her daughter, also named Anna, began a campaign to
memorialize the life work of her mother. Anna began to lobby prominent businessmen like John Wannamaker, and politicians including Presidents Taft and Roosevelt to support her campaign to create a special day to honor mothers. At one of the first services organized to celebrate Anna's mother in 1908, at her church in West Virginia, Anna handed out her mother's favorite flower, the white carnation. Five years later, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling for officials of the federal government to wear white carnations on Mother's Day. In 1914 Anna's hard work paid off when Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday.
In Europe there were several long standing traditions where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor motherhood and mothers such as Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday celebrations are part of the liturgical calendar in several Christian denominations, including Anglicans, and in the Catholic calendar is marked as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to honor the Virgin Mary and your "mother" church. Children and young people who were "in service" (servants in richer households) were given a day off on that date so they could visit their families or, originally, return to their "mother" church. The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place them in the church or to give them to their mothers as gifts.
In most countries, Mother's Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in America. When it was adopted by other countries and cultures, it was given different meanings, associated to different events (religious, historical or legendary), and celebrated in a different date or dates.Some countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations have adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, like giving carnations and other presents to your own mother.
Here are a few countries and how they celebrate:
Mother's Day in most of Arab countries is celebrated on March 21. It was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in his book (Smiling America) 1943. The idea was overlooked at the time, but when Amin heard the story of a widowed mother who devoted her whole life to raise her son until he became a doctor, got married and left without showing her any gratitude, Amin became motivated to promote for "Mother's Day". The idea was first ridiculed by president Gamal Abdel Nasser but he eventually accepted it and Mother's Day was first celebrated on the 21st of March 1956. The practice has since been copied by the other Arab countries.
In Bolivia, Mother's Day is celebrated on May 27. The Dia de la Madre Boliviana was passed into law on November 8, 1927, during the presidency of Hernando Siles Reyes. It commemorates the Battle of Coronilla which took place on May 27, 1812, during the Bolivian War of Independence, in what is now the city of Cochabamba. In this battle, women fighting for the country's independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army. It's not a festive day, but all schools make activities and festivities during this day.
In China, Mother's Day is becoming more popular, and carnations are a very popular gift and the most sold type of flower. In 1997 it was set as the day to help poor mothers, especially to remind people of the poor mothers in rural areas such as China's western region. In the People's Daily, the Chinese government's official newspaper, an article explained that "despite originating in the United States, people in China take the holiday with no hesitance because it goes in line with the country's traditional ethics – respect to the elderly and filial piety to parents."
Mother's Day in Japan was initially commemorated during the ShMwa period as the birthday of Empress KMjun (mother of Emperor Akihito) on 6 March. This was established in 1931 when Imperial Women's Union was organised. In 1937, the first meeting of "Praise Mothers" was held on 8 May, and in around 1949 Japanese society adapted to celebrate Mother's day on the second Sunday of May, the same as many other countries. Nowadays it is rather a marketed holiday, and people typically give flowers such as red carnations and roses as gifts.
The government of Álvaro Obregón imported the holiday from the US in 1922, with the newspaper Excélsior making a massive promotion campaign that year. In the mid-1930s the government of Lázaro Cárdenas promoted the holiday as a "patriotic festival". The Cárdenas government tried to use the holiday as a vehicle for various efforts: stressing the importance of families for national development, benefiting from the loyalty that Mexicans had towards their mothers, introducing new morals to Mexican women and reducing the influence that the church and the Catholic right had on them. Soledad Orozco García, the wife of President Manuel Ávila Camacho, promoted the holiday during the 1940s, making it into an important state-sponsored celebration. The 1942 celebration lasted a whole week, including an announcement that all women could reclaim their pawned sewing machines from the Monte de Piedad at no cost. Now the holiday in Mexico is a celebration of both mothers and the Virgin Mary held each year on May 10.
Happy Mother's Day!