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Mother’s Day spells love and reverence

Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in the society. Celebrated on various days in many parts of the world in April or May, it complements similar celebrations honouring family members, such as Father’s Day (third Sunday in June) and Siblings Day (April 10 in US).

The celebration of Mother’s Day began in US in the early 20th century; it is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of ‘Hilaria’ or the Christian ‘Mothering Sunday’ celebration (originally a celebration of the mother church, not motherhood). Despite this, in some countries, Mother’s Day has become synonymous with these older traditions.

Modern observance

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognised holiday in America.

/Although she was successful in 1914, she was disappointed with its commercialisation by the 1920s. Ms Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world. In this tradition, each person offers a gift, card, or remembrance toward their mothers, grandmothers, and/ or maternal figure on mother’s day.

Various observances honouring mothers existed in America during the 1870s and the 1880s, but these never had resonance beyond the local level.

Singular term

In 1912, Ms Jarvis trademarked the phrases “Second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”, and created the ‘Mother’s Day International Association.’ She noted that “Mother’s” should “be a singular possessive for each family to honour its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world.”

This was also the spelling used by US President Woodrow Wilson in his 1914 Presidential proclamation, by the US Congress in relevant bills, and by various American Presidents in their proclamations concerning Mother’s Day.

However, “Mothers’ Day” (plural possessive) or “Mothers Day” (plural non-possessive) are also seen in some references.

As the holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures, the date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honoring motherhood.

Ex-communist countries usually celebrate the socialist ‘International Women’s Day’ (March 8) instead of the more ‘capitalist’ Mother’s Day. Russians continue this custom or celebrate both holidays, which is the custom in Ukraine. Kyrgyzstan has recently introduced Mother’s Day.

The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one’s mother not to mark Mother’s Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture

Source: Wikipedia


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