Why Do They Celebrate Mother’s Day?

Many people think that Mother’s Day is traditionally a holiday for moms in the United States. What may not be realized is that Mother’s Day has been around for millennium but not always in the same form as it is celebrated today. Mothers are also honored in nearly every country and culture around the world.

The earliest written record of honoring mothers comes from the ancient Egyptians. In fact, their practice of paying homage to their goddess Isis may be the very beginnings of our current Mother’s Day celebrations as Isis was considered to be the mother of the Pharaohs.

In more recent years, motherhood was honored on the fourth Sunday of the Lenten season. This was more of a celebration to honor the church, or Mother church, where the mothers were baptized. The practice included decorating the place of worship with flowers and other symbols such as jewels to beautify the buildings.

By the 1600s there was a decree that established Mothering Day, the forerunner of our current Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day actually began in the United States in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation. This was a call to mothers who had lost sons during the Civil War to come together and celebrate peace and motherhood. This holiday, however, was never embraced nationally. It wasn’t until Anna M. Jarvis began the process in 1908 that the holiday took off and was eventually declared a national holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson.

Mother’s Day celebrations take place all around the world. In Argentina, mothers are given dinners, poems, and gifts of appreciation. France began Mother’s Day in 1945 and uses this day to give cakes shaped like flower bouquets, cards, and perfume. Mothers in India have special dinners prepared for them and receive telephone calls from their children. The Japanese celebrate Mother’s Day by giving their mothers red carnations, scarves, and handbags.

Mexico celebrates Mother’s Day on May 10 rather than the fourth Sunday of May. Traditionally they prepare a family brunch for mothers and celebrate with songs sung by family members. In the United Kingdom, moms are given flowers, cards and taken out for a special Mother’s Day lunch.

Mothers in the United States are honored by children giving cards and presents. They may be taken out for a special meal, be given flowers, or receive telephone calls from children who are far from home. Chocolate is another common Mother’s Day gift and with the increase of day spas across the country, many mothers are being given certificates for a spa visit.

Let’s face it, if it weren’t for mothers, none of us would be here. (Of course, dads had a part in our birth, too, but they have their own holiday.) It’s nice to remember our moms once a year in a special way. And since people around the world honor their moms, isn’t it a good idea to do the same for your own?

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