History of Mother’s Day

2016-05-05 06:00
Celebrating a mother’s love. Photo: sourced

Celebrating a mother’s love. Photo: sourced

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MOTHERS are celebrated in many countries on different dates and in different ways. Mother’s Day traditions and customs may vary, but the basic theme is to honour mothers.

In Britain, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, and is called Mothering Sunday. In medieval times, children of poor families often had to work away from home as servants or apprentices to rich families.

They were given time off in Lent, so they could worship the Virgin Mary and visit their home, “mother church” and their families. The children would often pick flowers to give to their mothers and bake special cakes called Mothering Cakes

In Brazil, Mother’s Day is one of the most commercial holidays celebrated, second only to Christmas, celebrated on the second Sunday in May with special children’s performances and church gatherings.

Fête des mères takes place in late May or early June in France. It did not become an official day of celebration until 1950, but was originally declared a holiday by Napoleon. On this day, moms relax, relying on their children to cater to their needs and do the chores. Gifts are given and sometimes short, original poems are recited.

The giving of carnations and other flowers on Mother’s Day is popular in Australia, celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Chrysanthemums are also a very popular floral choice, because mothers there are called Mum.

In Ethiopia Mother’s Day is celebrated at the end of the rainy season, as part of the three-day Antrosht festival, dedicated to moms.

When the weather clears up, family members come home to celebrate with a large feast. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables, butter, spices and cheese, while the sons bring meat of various types, including lamb or bull.

Another country which needs three days to fully acknowledge their mothers and the spirit of family is Serbia, where Mother’s Day takes place in December and is part of a series of holidays including Children’s Day and Father’s Day. All three holidays take place on consecutive Sundays.

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