MAY 13 - 2nd Sunday – Mother's Day

MAY 13, 2012* – Mother's Day




The modern Mother's Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, as a day to honor mothers and motherhood, especially within the context of families, and family relationships. It is now celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, some of which have a much older tradition than the modern holiday (e.g. dating to the 16th century in the UK). Father's Day is a corresponding holiday honoring fathers.

The holiday eventually became so commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a "Hallmark Holiday", i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Anna ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create.

Historical antecedents

Lamberts (who?) thought this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece, which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of Greek gods. This festival was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (15 March) to 18 March.

The ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.

In Europe and the UK there were several long standing traditions where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor motherhood and mothers such as Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday celebrations are part of the liturgical calendar in several Christian denominations, including Anglicans, and in the Catholic calendar is marked as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to honour the Virgin Mary and the "mother church". Traditionally the day was marked by the giving of token gifts and the relinquishing of certain traditionally female tasks such as cooking and cleaning to other members of the family as a gesture of appreciation.

In addition to Mother's Day, International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries on March 8.

The "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

International history and traditions

In most countries, Mother's Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in North America and Europe. When it was adopted by other countries and cultures, it was given different meanings, associated to different events (religious, historical or legendary), and celebrated in a different date or dates.

Some countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations have adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, like giving carnations and other presents to your own mother.

The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one's mother not to mark Mother's Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture (compare the celebrations of Diwali in the UK and the United States).

The United States and Canada celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


*Mothers' Day will be celebrated as follows:
                  2011 – May 8
                  2012 – May 13
                  2013 – May 12
                  2014 – May 11