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The modern Mother's Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Graftonmarker, West Virginiamarker, 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 eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create.

Historical antecedents

Lamberts 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.

Spelling

In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association.

This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the law making official the holiday in the U.S., by the U.S. Congress on bills, and by other U.S. presidents on their declarations.

Common usage in English language also dictates that the ostensibly singular possessive "Mother's Day" is the preferred spelling, although "Mothers' Day" (plural possessive) is not unheard of.

Dates around the world

As the US holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures, the date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honouring motherhood, like Mothering Sunday in the UK or the Orthodox celebration of Jesus in the temple in Greece. In some countries it was changed to dates that were significant to the majoritary religion, like the Virgin Mary day in Catholic countries, or the birthday of the daughter of prophet Muhammad in Islamic countries. Other countries changed it to historical dates, like Bolivia using the date of a certain battle where women participated. See the "International history and traditions" section for the complete list.

Note: Countries that celebrate the International Women's Day instead of Mother's Day are marked with a dagger '†'.
Gregorian calendar
Occurrence Dates Country
February 2
 Greecemarker 

Second Sunday of February February 8, 2009

February 14, 2010

 Norwaymarker 

Shevat 30

(Falls anywhere between January 30 and March 1)
 Israelmarker
March 3
 Georgiamarker
March 8
 Afghanistanmarker 

Albaniamarker

Armeniamarker

 Azerbaijanmarker 

Belarusmarker

Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker

 Bulgariamarker

Kazakhstanmarker

Laosmarker

 Macedoniamarker

Moldovamarker

Montenegromarker

 Romaniamarker 

Russiamarker†*

Serbiamarker

Fourth Sunday in Lent March 22, 2009

March 14, 2010

 Irelandmarker 

Nigeriamarker

 United Kingdommarker 

March 21

(vernal Equinox)
 Bahrainmarker 

Egyptmarker

Jordanmarker

Kuwaitmarker

Libyamarker

 Lebanonmarker 

Omanmarker

Palestinian Territoriesmarker

 Saudi Arabiamarker 

Sudanmarker

Somaliamarker

Syriamarker

 United Arab Emiratesmarker 

Yemenmarker (All Arab countries in general)

March 25
 Sloveniamarker 

April 7
 Armeniamarker 

April 24 +/- 5 days Baisakh Amavasya (Mata Tirtha Aunsi)
 Nepalmarker 

First Sunday in May May 3, 2009

May 2, 2010

 Hungarymarker

Lithuaniamarker

 Mozambiquemarker 

Portugalmarker

Macaomarker

 Spainmarker 

May 8
 Albaniamarker (Parents' Day) 

South Koreamarker (Parents' Day)

May 10
 El Salvadormarker 

Guatemalamarker

 Mexicomarker 

May 10, 2009

May 9, 2010

 Anguillamarker 

Arubamarker

Australia
Austriamarker

Bahamasmarker

Bangladeshmarker

Barbadosmarker

Belgiummarker

Belizemarker

Bermudamarker

Bonairemarker

Brazilmarker

Bruneimarker

Bulgariamarker

 Canadamarker 

Chilemarker

People's Republic of Chinamarker

Taiwanmarker

Colombiamarker

Croatiamarker

Cubamarker

Curaçaomarker

Cyprusmarker

Czech Republicmarker

Denmarkmarker

 Dominicamarker 

Ecuadormarker

Estoniamarker

Ethiopiamarker

Fijimarker

Finlandmarker

Germanymarker

Ghanamarker

Greecemarker

Grenadamarker

Hondurasmarker

Hong Kongmarker

Icelandmarker

 Italymarker 

Jamaicamarker

Japanmarker

Latviamarker*

Liechtensteinmarker*

Malaysiamarker

Maltamarker

Myanmarmarker

Netherlandsmarker

New Zealandmarker

Pakistanmarker

Papua New Guineamarker

Perumarker

 Philippinesmarker 

Puerto Rico
St. Kitts & Nevismarker

St. Luciamarker

Saint Vincent and the Grenadinesmarker

Samoamarker

Singaporemarker

Sint Maartenmarker

Slovakiamarker

South Africa
Sri Lankamarker

Surinamemarker

 Switzerlandmarker 

Tongamarker

Trinidad and Tobagomarker

Turkeymarker

Uganda
Ukrainemarker

United Statesmarker

Uruguaymarker

Venezuelamarker

Zambiamarker

Zimbabwemarker

May 15
 Paraguaymarker 

May 26
 Polandmarker "Dzień Matki" 

May 27
 Boliviamarker
Last Sunday of May May 31, 2009

May 30, 2010

 Algeriamarker 

Dominican Republicmarker

 Francemarker (First Sunday of June if Pentecost occurs on this day) 

French Antilles (First Sunday of June if Pentecost occurs on this day)
 Haitimarker
 Mauritiusmarker 

Moroccomarker

 Swedenmarker 

Tunisiamarker

May 30
 Nicaraguamarker 

June 1
 Mongoliamarker† (The Mothers and Children's Day.) 

Second Sunday of June June 14, 2009

June 13, 2010

 Luxembourgmarker 

Last Sunday of June June 28, 2009

June 27, 2010

 Kenyamarker 

August 12
 Thailandmarker (the birthday of Queen Sirikit)
August 15 (Assumption Day)
 Antwerpmarker (Belgiummarker) 

Costa Ricamarker

August 19 (Pâthâre Prabhu in Southern India)
 Indiamarker

Second Monday of October October 12, 2009

October 11, 2010

 Malawimarker 

October 14
 Belarusmarker 

Third Sunday of October October 18, 2009

October 17, 2010

 Argentinamarker (Día de la Madre) 

Last Sunday of November November 29, 2009

November 28, 2010

 Russiamarker 

December 8
 Panamamarker 

December 22
 Indonesiamarker 

Islamic calendar
Occurrence Dates Country
20 Jumada al-thani 14 June 2009
 Iraqmarker 

Iranmarker


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).

Religion

In the Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with reverencing the Virgin Mary.

In Hindu tradition it is called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" or "Mother Pilgrimage fortnight", and it is celebrated in countries with Hindu population, especially in Nepal.

Countries

African countries

Many African countries adopted the idea of one Mother's Day from the British tradition, although there are many festivals and events celebrating mothers within the many diverse cultures on the African continent that long pre-date the colonization of Africa by European powers.

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May. In observance of the day discussion programs are organized by government and non-governmental organizations. Few mothers are given Ratnagarva Ma Award which aims to recognize mothers and the important role that they play in society of Bangladeshmarker. The mothers were awarded for the commendable role that they played in rearing their children who became worthy citizens of the country in later life is sponsored by Grand Azad Hotel. Besides, reception programs, cultural programs are organized to mark the day in the Capital city. Television channels aired special programs and newspapers published special features and column to mark the day. Greeting cards, flowers and gifts featuring mother’s specialty to the children were on high demand at the shops and markets.

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Mother's Day is celebrated on May 27. This was passed into law on November 8, 1927 to commemorate the battle of Coronilla which took place in what is now the city of Cochabamba on May 27, 1812. In this battle, women fighting for the country's independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army.

Canada

See Public holidays in Canada#Other observances


The Mother's Day holiday, like St. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Father's Day and Halloween, is traditionally observed in Canada. In almost all features, it is identical to the US version of Mother's Day.

China

In China, Mother's Day is becoming more popular, and carnations are a very popular gift and the most sold type of flower. In 1997 it was set as the day to help poor mothers, specially to remind people of the poor mothers on rural areas such as China's west. In the People's Daily, the Communist Party of China's journal, an article explained that "despite originating in the United States, people in China take the holiday with no hesitance because it goes in line with the country's traditional ethics -- respect to the elderly and filial piety to parents."

In recent years Communist Party of China's member Li Hanqiu began to advocate for the official adoption of Mother's Day in memory of Meng Mu, the mother of Mèng Zǐ, and formed a Non-governmental organization called Chinese Mothers' Festival Promotion Society, with the support of 100 Confucian scholars and lecturers of ethics. They also ask to replace the Western gift of carnations with lilies, which, on ancient times, were planted by Chinese mothers when children left home. It remains an unofficial festival, except in a small number of cities.

Greece

Mother's Day in Greece corresponds to the Eastern Orthodox feast day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Since the Theotokos (The Mother of God) appears prominently in this feast as the one who brought Christ to the Temple at Jerusalem, this feast is associated with mothers.

India

Mother's Day is celebrated nationally in 19th of August.

The festival of Pâthâre Prabhu is celebrated in the same day only in Bombay and the Southern part of India (concretely Konkan and the districts below the Western Ghats). It is based on a legend about a mother whose children kept dying after only one year of living and it has a very remote origin. Although it's also called "Mother's Day", it is unrelated to the modern celebration, which is copied from the US and is celebrated in the whole country. The Pathare prabhu caste always celebrates this holiday.

Iran

Celebrated on 20 Jumada al-thani, the birthday anniversary of Fatimah, Muhammad's daughter. It was changed after the Iranian revolution, the reason having been theorized as trying to undercut feminist movements and promoting role models for the traditional model of family. It was previously 25 Azar on Iranian calendar during the Shah era

Japan

Mother's Day in Japan was initially commemorated during the Shōwa period as the birthday of Empress Kōjun (mother of Emperor Akihito). Nowadays it is a marketed holiday, and people typically give flowers such as carnations and roses as gifts.

Lebanon

Mother's Day in Lebanon is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring.

Mexico

The government of Álvaro Obregón imported the holiday from the US in 1922, with the newspaper Excelsior making a massive promotion campaign that year. The conservative government tried to use the holiday to promote a more conservative role of mothers in families, which was criticized by the socialists as promoting an irrealistic image of a woman that wasn't worth for much more than breeding.

In the mid-1930s the government of Lázaro Cárdenas promoted the holiday as a "patriotic festival". The Cárdenas government tried to use the holiday a vehicle for various efforts: remarking the important that families had into national development, benefiting from the loyalty that mexicans had towards their mothers, introducing new morals into the mexican women and reducing the influence that the church and the Catholic right had in them. The government sponsored the holiday in the schools. However, the theatre plays ignored the strict guidelines from the government and they were filled with religious icons and themes, and the "national celebrations" became "religious fiestas" despite the efforts of the government..

Soledad Orozco García, the wife of President Manuel Ávila Camacho, promoted the holiday during the 1940s, making it into an important state-sponsored celebration. The 1942 celebration lasted a whole week, including an announcement that all women could reclaim their pawned sewing machines out from Monte de Piedad at no cost.

The catholic National Synarchist Union (UNS) started paying attention to the holiday around 1941, due to Orozco's promotion. The members of the Party of the Mexican Revolution (nowadays PRI) that owned shops had a custom where women from humble classes could go to their shop in mother's day, pick a gift for free, and bring it home to their families. The Synarchists worried that this promoting both materialism and the idleness of lower classes, and in turn reinforcing the sistemic social problematics of the country. While nowadays we see those holiday practices as very conservative, the 1940s' UNS was viewing the holiday as a part of the larger debate on modernization that was happening at the time. This economic modernization was inspired in US models and was sponsored by the state, and the fact that the holiday was originally imported from the US was only seen as one more evidence that it was an attempt at imposing capitalization and materialism in Mexican society.

Also, the UNS and the clergy of the city of Leónmarker saw in the government actions an effort to secularize the holiday and to promote a more active role of women in society, with the long term goal of weakening men spiritually when women abandoned her traditional roles at home. They also saw the holiday as an attempt to secularize the cult to Virgin Mary, inside a larger effort to dechristianize several holidays, and they tried to counter this by organizing massives masses and asking religious women to assist to the state-sponsored events and try to "depaganize" them. In 1942, at the same time as Soledad's greatest celebration of the holiday, the clergy organized in León the 210th celebration of the Virgin Mary with a big parade.

There is a consensus among scholars that the Mexican government abandoned its revolutionary initiaves during the 1940s, including efforts to influence Mother's Day. Nowadays the holiday in Mexico is a celebration of both mothers and the Virgin Mary.

Nowadays the "Día de las Madres" is an unofficial holiday in Mexico held each year on May 10.

Nepal

"Mata Tirtha Aunshi", translated as "Mother Pilgrimage fortnight", falls in the month of Baishak dark fortnight (April). This festival falls in the time of dark moon’s time which is why this called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" derived from words: “Mata” meaning mother; “Tirtha” meaning pilgrimage. This festival is observed in the commemoration and respect of the mother which is celebrated by worshipping and gifting living mother or remembering mothers who have become immortal and are resting in peace. Going to Mata Tirtha Pilgrimage located towards the Kathmandu valley’s eastern side at Mata Tirtha Village development committee’s periphery is another tradition common in Nepal.

There is a legend regarding this pilgrimage. In ancient times Lord Krishna’s mother Devaki walked out her house to sight-see. She visited many places and delayed a lot to return back at her house. Lord Krishna became very unhappy because of his mother’s disappearance. So he went out in search of his mother to many places without success. Finally, when he reached “Mata Tirtha Kunda”, he happened to see his mother taking bath there in the spouts of that pond. Lord Krishna was very happy to find her there and narrated all of his tragedies in the absence of his mother. Mother Devaki said to lord Krishna that “oh! Son Krishna let then, this place be the pious rendezvous of children to meet their departed mothers”. So legends believe that since then this place had become a noted holy pilgrimage to see back a devotees’ deceased mother. Also legend believes that a devotee saw his mother’s image inside the pond and he happened to die falling there down. So still there is a small pond fenced by the iron rods in the place even on this present day as well. After the worship the pilgrimage enjoy there singing and dancing throughout the day in the festive mood. There is not evidence of happening of this legend as these are coming from elders based on ancient readings.

Thailand

Mother's day in Thailand is celebrated on the birthday of the Queen of Thailand Sirikit (12 Aug). It started being celebrated around the 1980s as part of the campaign by Prime Minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda to promote the Thailand's Royal family. Father's Day is celebrated in the King's birthday.

Romania

In Romaniamarker it's celebrated as two separate holidays: Mother's Day and Ladies Day.

United Kingdom and Ireland

In the United Kingdommarker and Irelandmarker, Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday (March 22 in 2009). It is believed to have originated from the 16th century Christian practice of visiting one's mother church annually, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day. Most historians believe that young apprentices and young women in servitude were released by their masters that weekend in order to visit their families.As a result of secularization, it is now principally used to show appreciation to one's mother, although it is still recognized in the historical sense by some churches, with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus Christ as well as the traditional concept 'Mother Church'.

Mothering Sunday can fall at the earliest on 1 March (in years when Easter Day falls on 22 March) and at the latest on 4 April (when Easter Day falls on 25 April).

United States

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

Vietnam

Mother's Day in Vietnam is called Lễ Vu-lan and celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. People with living mothers would be thankful, while people with dead mothers would pray for their souls.

Commercialization

Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

Later commercial and other exploitations of the use of Mother's Day infuriated Anna and she made her criticisms explicitly known throughout her time. She criticized the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ...".

Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the commercially most successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.

For example, according to IBISWorld, a publisher of business research, Americans will spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts—like spa treatments—and another $68 million on greeting cards.

Mother's Day will generate about 7.8% of the U.S. jewelry industry's annual revenue in 2008, with custom gifts like mother's rings.

It's possible that the holiday would have withered over time without the support and continuous promotion of the florist industries and other commercial industries. Other Protestant holidays from the same time, like Children's Day and Temperance Sunday, do not have the same level of popularity.

See also



Notes



References

Bibliography



External links




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