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A Special Day for Moms

Category: May/June 2017 Issue

Moms are pretty special; there’s no doubt about that. Who else would carry you for nine months, suffer immense pain to bring you into this world, and then feed, clothe and shelter you for at least the next 18 years? 

It’s a lifelong commitment to do the dirty work of dishes, diapers, sickness and laundry on top of sleepless nights and long days in carpool lines. Moms are often overworked and underpaid, but we at least have one day each year that we set aside to honor our moms. It might be interesting to consider how this day is celebrated how it came to be. 

According to the website of The History Channel, History.com, Mother’s Day can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations who paid tribute to the goddesses Rhea and Cybele. In the 1870s, Julia Ward Howe started an annual celebration in the United States with giving white carnations to local mothers. The second Sunday in May was set aside in the United States to celebrate moms with cards, flowers, cakes, family gatherings, breakfast, brunch, dinner, phone calls, poems, chocolate, jewelry and handmade gifts. 

History.com also states that in 1908, Ann Reeves Jarvis created a celebration of motherhood in St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Mrs. Jarvis originally intended the focus of the holiday to be on sentiment and not profit, encouraging people to send handwritten letters instead of cards and gifts. 

Then in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson created the official U.S. holiday of Mother’s Day. In 1920, Mrs. Jarvis urged people to stop buying flowers, cards and candies because the holiday had become so commercialized. Mother’s Day is believed to be one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending in the United States. 

Over 46 countries celebrate moms at some point during the year. While most countries commemorate moms on the second Sunday in May, most Middle Eastern countries use the spring equinox or March 21st. 

In China, the traditional flowers are carnations, but in Australia, chrysanthemums are given. This is due to the fact that most Australians actually call their mothers “Mum.” 

Thailand links Mother’s Day with Queen Sirikit’s birthday on August 12th. 

In the United Kingdom, on the 4th Sunday in Lent, parishioners are encouraged to go back to the church where they were baptized. This Mothering Sunday has now evolved in Mother’s Day. 

The Roman Catholic Church associates Mother’s Day with revering the Virgin Mary. 

According to the website timeanddate.com, Samoa rejoices over its moms on the second Monday in May with song and dance performances. 

May 10th is Mexico’s Mother’s Day and moms are recognized with music, food, flowers, celebrations and a special song -- “Las Mananitas” -- in the morning. 

According to Time Magazine’s website, Time.com, Russia changed Mother’s Day from March 8th (International Women’s Day) to the last Sunday in November after the USSR was dissolved. 

No matter what day you celebrate your mom this year, consider something that would really be special to her. There are so many things that she does that you may not realize, and there will come a day that she won’t be here to celebrate. Since not every mom is the same, customize your gift and make it just as beautiful as your mother. 

 

By Erin Jacobs Stagner 

 

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