By: Hadeel Eslam
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:12:47
In honor of the exceptional sincere efforts exerted by mothers, 46 countries around the world celebrate the so-called Mother’s Day. However, those countries don’t pay tribute to mothers on the same day, due to a set of cultural backgrounds and tradition, a thing that arouses a very curious question: who came up with the idea of mother’s day at the first place?
In fact, the origin of Mother’s Day dates back to the era of Greeks and Romans who held annual spring festivals in honor of their respective mother goddess: Rhea and Cybele. But the Mother’s Day as we know it today was firstly brought to light by the famous activist and writer Julia Ward Howe in 1870. In the wake of the US civil war, Howe felt the grief of wounded mothers and her own grief after losing her mother, suggesting to annually celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of June. Her claim was so well-received that Mother’s Day is now officially celebrated and declared an official holiday, yet it is celebrated on the 2nd of May.
Many countries around the world celebrate this exceptional day on May, 2nd as the US do, however the dominating circumstances gave this day a far different meaning. For Instance, this day had highly patriotic implications for Nazi Germany where Mother Day or Muttertag was officially declared to encourage women to bear more children. There was even a medal—das Mutterkreuz—in bronze, silver, and gold, awarded to mothers who produced children for the Vaterland. After WW II, the occasion became more unofficial and moved to the first Sunday of May.
In some other countries, Mother’s day has a more religious significance. In Argentina, for example, Mother's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of October. The holiday was originally celebrated on 11 October, the old liturgical date for the celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While, the Irish people celebrate it on the 4th Sunday in the Christian fasting month of Lent and they call it the Mothering Sunday. This feast is actually a medieval tradition where poor children working as domestic servant and apprentices were sent to their “Mother” church to worship Virgin Mary.
In the very far east of our mother Earth, Thailand honors mothers on August, 12th, which marks the queen’s birthday, the mother of all Thais!
Although maternity is largely recognized throughout Egypt’s pharonic civilization, symbolized in Hathour goddess, it wasn’t until 1956 when Egypt started to celebrate Mother’s Day officially. The call this time was uttered by a renowned Egyptian writer, Mustafa Amin, after being visited by an old woman whose sons were ungrateful to her, despite all her sacrifices! Amin suggested the 21st of March to be Egypt’s Mother Day, which also marks the first day of Spring.
It is clear that the whole world has agreed on the importance to honor our dear mothers, yet they failed to agree on a common day. No matter what the day is, we must show them some kindness and appreciation. It’s the least we can do for their endless grants.