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Mother's Day: facts and trivia

art-and-culture Updated: May 16, 2007 12:48 IST

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Earliest fete

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations are traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honour of Rhea, wife of Cronus and the Mother of the Gods and goddesses.



In Rome the most significant Mother's Day-like festival was dedicated to the worship of Cybele, another mother goddess. Ceremonies in her honour began some 250 years before Christ was born.



In England

During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday", celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (also called Mid-Lent Sunday)."Mothering Sunday" honoured the mothers of England. As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honour the "Mother Church" -- the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration .



People began honouring their mothers as well as the church. During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers.



On Mothering Sunday, the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

The official side to it


<b3>The first Mother's Day proclamation was issued by the governor of West Virginia in 1910. Oklahoma celebrated Mother's Day that year as well. By 1911 every state had its own observances. By then other areas celebrating Mother's Day included Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, South America and Africa.



The Mother's Day International Association was incorporated on December 12, 1912, with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Mother's Day is celebrated on May 10 in Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates.

Mother's Day, like the job of "mothering," is varied and diverse. Perhaps that's only appropriate for a day honouring the multiple ways women find to nurture their families, their communities, their countries, and the world at large.


Mother's Day: zany facts!


Hindu scripture credits the Great Mother, Kali Ma, with the invention of writing through alphabets, pictographs and beautiful sacred images



<b5>In the Bible, Eve is credited with being the "Mother of All the Living."

Some tribes of people, like the Assam in Africa, don't call themselves families. They call themselves "maharis", or "motherhoods."

Rosa Parks was the mother of bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama that launched the Civil Rights Movement.

Chinese family names are often formed (begin) with a sign that means "mother". It's a nice way of honoring their moms long past.

The ancient Greeks celebrated Mother's Day in spring, like we do. They used to honor Rhea, "mother of the gods" with honey-cakes and fine drinks and flowers at dawn. Sounds like the beginnings of the Mother's Day tradition of breakfast in bed!

Mother Shipton was a Prophetess in Britain 500 years ago. She could see the future, and predicted that another Queen Elizabeth would sit on the throne of England. (QE II)

Japan's Imperial family trace their descent from Omikami Amaterasu, the Mother of the World.

Julia Ward Howe wrote the Battle Hymm of the Republic and was a staunch fighter for women's rights. She staged an unusual protest for peace in Boston, by celebrating a special day for mothers. Julia wanted to call attention to the need for peace by pointing out mothers who were left alone in the world without their sons and husbands after the bloody Franco-Prussian War.

The Greek word "meter" and the Sanskrit word "mantra" mean both mother and measurement.

Mother Goose is one of the most popular of all children's entertainers. Her books and stories have been loved for many generations.

Native American Indian women have long been honored with the name, "Life of the Nation" for their gift of motherhood to the tribes.

Ancient Egyptians believed that "Bast" was the mother of all cats on Earth, and that cats were sacred animals.

Buddha honoured mothers when he said, "As a mother, even at the risk of her own life, loves and protects her child, so let a man cultivate love without measure toward the whole world."

Mother's Day is now celebrated in many countries around the world. Australia, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Russia, China, Thailand, all have special celebrations to honor Mothers, but not in the same way or on the same day as the United States.

(Compiled by Sudeshna B Baruah)