|Mother's Day - background information |
People in different countries celebrate Mother's Day on different days of the year because the day has a number of different origins. One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Mother worship — which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods and the wife of Cronus; was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (March 15 to March 18). The 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 was copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation. In the UK, the day now simply celebrates motherhood and thanking mothers. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.
Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870, as a call for peace and disarmament. An excerpt follows:
Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Anna Reeve Jarvis, a young West Virginia homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.
In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after mother's day (and not before.)
When Jarvis died, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the Andrews Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist) Church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. The 1912 General Conference of The Methodist Episcopal Church, at the suggestion of delegates from Andrews M.E. Church, recognized Jarvis as the founder and advocated the celebration of the holiday. From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honour of those mothers whose sons had died in war. Nine years after the first official Mother's Day holiday, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. holidays.
British history - Mothering Sunday
Mothering Sunday, commonly called "Mothers' Day" in the United Kingdom, has no direct connection to the American practice. It falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent (exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday). It is believed to have originated from the 16th Century Christian practice of visiting one's mother church annually, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day. Most historians believe that young apprentices and young women in servitude were released by their masters that weekend in order to visit their families. As a result of secularisation, it is now principally used to celebrate and give thanks for mothers, although it is still recognized in the historical sense by some churches, with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus as well as the traditional concept 'mother church'.
Mother's Days in various parts of the world
The definition used in this table allows "Womens day" to be treated the same as "Mothers Day".
Mother's Day is celebrated on different days throughout the world. Examining the trends in Google searches for the term "mothers day" shows two major blips, the smaller one on the fourth Sunday in Lent, and the larger one on the second Sunday in May.
|Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother's_Day|