In many countries around the world, including India, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, as a day for honoring mothers. Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece, which were organized in the honor of Rhea, the wife of Cronus and the Mother of the Gods and Goddesses. In Rome, the celebration of this day was dedicated to Cybele, another Mother Goddess; with the ceremony in her honor beginning somewhere around 250 years before Christ was born.
The Roman celebration was known as Hilaria and it lasted for three days,
at a stretch. According to another belief, the ceremonies in honor of
Cybele were adopted by the early church to venerate the Mother of
Christ, Mary. It is also believed that the Mother Church was substituted
for Mother Goddess and custom of people visiting the church of his/her
baptism, on the day, came into being. People used to attend the mother
church of their parish, laden with offerings.
England's Mothering Sunday
During the 1600s, England celebrated a day called 'Mothering Sunday'. It
was celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent and was intended to honor all
the mothers in England. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the
celebration came to honor 'Mother Church' - the spiritual power that
gave people life and protected them from harm. Over time, the church
festival blended with Mothering Sunday celebration. People began
honoring their mothers as well as the church. During this time, many of
England's poor people worked as servants for the wealthy.
As their jobs were located far away from their homes, the servants would
live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday, the servants
would have a day off and be encouraged to return home and spend the day
with their mothers. The servants brought along a special cake, called
the mothering cake, to add a festive touch to the occasion. In northern
England and Scotland, the preferred refreshments were carlings -
pancakes made of steeped peas fried in butter, with pepper and salt. In
fact, in some places this day was called Carling Sunday.
Mother's Day in Other Countries
Mother's Day is celebrated on different days, in different countries,
mainly because the day has varied origins everywhere. In the United
States, the tradition of Mother's Day is around 150 years old, when Anna
Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness
towards health conditions of poor people in her community and called the
day as 'Mother's Work Day'. In Japan, Mother's Day was first celebrated
during the Sh?wa period, as the birthday of Empress K?jun, the mother of
In China, Mother's Day was started in 1997, as the day to help poor
mothers. Mother's Day in Greece reminds us of the Eastern Orthodox feast
day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Since Theotokos, the
Mother of God, was the one who brought Christ to the Temple at
Jerusalem, the feast is related to mothers. In many other countries of
the world, Mother's Day is a relatively modern concept, being created at
the start of the 20th century. However, it has gained massive popularity
within a short period of time.