Happy Mothers Day
The first celebrations in honour of mothers were held in the spring in ancient Greece. They paid tribute to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 17th century, England honored mothers on "Mothering Sunday," celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
In the United States, Julia Ward Howe suggested the idea of Mother's Day in 1872. Howe, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, saw Mother's Day as being dedicated to peace.
Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia is credited with bringing about the official observance of Mother's Day. Her campaign to establish such a holiday began as a remembrance of her mother, who died in 1905 and who had, in the late 19th century, tried to establish "Mother's Friendship Days" as a way to heal the scars of the Civil War.
Two years after her mother died, Jarvis held a ceremony in Grafton, W. Va., to honor her. She was so moved by the proceedings that she began a massive campaign to adopt a formal holiday honoring mothers. In 1910, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother's Day. A year later, nearly every state officially marked the day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother's Day as a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.
But Jarvis' accomplishment soon turned bitter for her. Enraged by the commercialisation of the holiday, she filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother's Day festival and was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a war mothers' convention where women sold white carnations -- Jarvis' symbol for mothers -- to raise money. "This is not what I intended," Jarvis said. "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit!"
When she died in 1948, at age 84, Jarvis had become a woman of great ironies. Never a mother herself, her maternal fortune dissipated by her efforts to stop the commercialisation of the holiday she had founded, Jarvis told a reporter shortly before her death that she was sorry she had ever started Mother's Day. She spoke these words in a nursing home where every Mother's Day her room had been filled with cards from all over the world.
Today, because and despite Jarvis' efforts, many celebrations of Mother's Days are held throughout the world. Although they do not all fall at the same time, such countries as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium also celebrate Mother's Day on the same day as the United States.
Basic Facts And Beginnings:
The second Sunday in May is observed as Mother's Day in most countries of the world. But it was not always so. Not very long ago, a festival called 'Mothering Sunday' or 'Mid-Lent Sunday' was celebrated in England on the fourth Sunday in Lent. The celebrations were surprisingly similar to the modern way of celebrating Mother's Day.
The First Mother's Day, as we know it now days, was observed on May 10, 1908, in a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The celebrations involved a church service in honor of Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis, mother of Anna Jarvis.
Four years later, the Mother's Day International Association was created, on December 12, 1912, to spread the concept and practice of observing Mother's Day. The very next year, in May 1913, the House of Representatives of the US government adopted a resolution requesting the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mother's Day.
And finally, on May 8, 1914, the Congress passed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
Mother's Day In India
The practice of celebrating the Mother is not alien to India. For thousands of years Hindus have been celebrating a ten-day festival, Durga Puja, honouring the divine mother Durga, in early October. But the more personal festival of 'Mother's Day' has also come to become a part of our culture now. What it offers is an opportunity to honor and show our appreciation for our flesh and blood mother - the one person who has stood by us through thick and thin.
Hindu scripture credits the Great Mother, Kali Ma, with the invention of writing through alphabets, pictographs and beautiful sacred images.
Buddha honoured mothers when he said, "As a mother, even at the risk of her own life, loves and protects her child, so let a man cultivate love without measure toward the whole world."
In India there is a ten-day festival known as Durga Puja, which is held in early October. The festival honors Durga, the "Divine Mother". She is the most important of all Hindu goddesses.
However, in India, Mother's Day is observed mostly in cities, where people are more in contact with cultural traditions of the rest of the world.
What You Can Do On Mother's Day !
Given below are a few tips to express your love and appreciation for your mother-
- Visit or call your mother and surprise her by telling her you still remember how she used to care for you.
- Remember to illustrate your point with reminiscences of your childhood.
- Send her a card or flowers with a poem specially written for her (never mind if it is not perfect).
- Take her out to dinner or cook for her.
- Take her out for a dance, and tell her she is your first girlfriend and the first woman in your life.
- Wear a red carnation with a smile.
- Surprise her by making breakfast this Sunday.
- Think of any one woman, other than your own mother, who has been a mother figure to you, and surprise her by visiting her with a box of chocolates.
Significance of Carnations
When the first Mother's Day was observed at the request of Anna Jarvis in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 10, 1908, carnations were supplied at the church service. This was because carnations were her mother's favorite flowers.
Thereafter, carnations have come to be associated with Mother's Day. White carnations are supposed to represented purity and love. Now it has become a tradition to regard red carnations as a symbol of a living mother; white carnations on the other hand are offered if one's mother has died.