Mother’s Day

The ancient Greeks dedicated their annual spring festival to Rhea, the wife of Cronus and mother of various deities. The Romans called the event the Hilaria, by making offerings in the temple of Cybele, the mother of the deities on the Ides of March. Early Christians celebrated the festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, adorning churches with jewels, flowers and expensive gifts. In England, an ecclesiastical order decreed the dedication as Mothering Sunday.

The event was not celebrated nationally in the United States until Julia Ward Howe suggested Mother’s Day in 1872.

In 1877, on the second Sunday of May, Juliet Calhoun Blakeley stepped in for the Reverend Myron Daughterty when the reverend became distraught, apparently because an anti-temperance group had forced his son to spend the night in a saloon. Proud of their mother’s achievement, Charles and Moses Blakeley encouraged others to honor a Mother’s Day. In the 1880’s the Methodist church began celebrating Mother’s Day in Blakeley’s honor.

Various efforts were made to honor Mother’s Day nationally in the US but it received official recognition only after Anna Jarvis organized a series of Mother’s Day Work Clubs. The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the church where Jarvis’s mother had taught Sunday School. (Grafton is the home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine.)

The Mother’s Day International Association was founded on 12 December 1912, and on 7 May 1914 President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day in the United States.

Mother's Day postcard 1916Mother’s Day postcard 1916, via Wikipedia.

Although Mother’s Day is honored internationally, Mothering Sunday is still celebrated in many countries.

Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday dates in countries

Second Sunday in February:

Norway.

March 8 (International Women’s Day):

Afghanistan
Albania
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bulgaria
Kazakhstan
Laos
Macedonia
Moldova
Montenegro
Russia
Serbia
Slovenia
Tajikistan
Vietnam

Fourth Sunday in Lent:

Guernsey
Ireland
Isle of Man
Jersey
Nigeria
United Kingdom

21 March:

Bahrain
Comoros
Djibouti
Egypt
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Libya
Lebanon
Mauritania
Oman
Palestine
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
Sudan
Syria
United Arab Emirates
Yemen

25 March:

Slovenia

7 April:

Armenia

First Sunday of May:

Angola
Cape Verde
Hungary
Lithuania
Mozambique
Portugal
Romania
Spain

8 May:

South Korea

10 May:

El Salvador
Guatemala
Mexico

Second Sunday of May:

Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda
Aruba
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bonaire
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Canada
Cambodia
Chile
China
Colombia
Croatia
Cuba
Curaçao
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica
Ecuador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guyana
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kenya
Latvia
Liberia
Liechtenstein
Macau
Malaysia
Malta
Myanmar
Namibia
Netherlands
New Zealand
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Puerto Rico
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovakia
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tanzania
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
Uganda
Ukraine
United States
Uruguay
Vietnam
Venezuela
Zambia
Zimbabwe

15 May:

Paraguay

19 May:

Kyrgyzstan

26 May:

Poland

27 May:

Bolivia

Last Sunday of May:

Algeria
Dominican Republic
Madagascar
Morocco
Haiti
Mauritius
Senegal
Sweden
Tunisia

Last Sunday of May (or First Sunday of June if the last Sunday of May is Pentecost):

France
French Antilles

30 May:

Nicaragua

1 June:

Mongolia

Second Sunday of June:

Luxembourg

First Monday of July:

South Sudan

12 August:

Thailand

15 August:

Antwerp province of Belgium
Costa Rica

Second Monday of October:

Malawi

14 October:

Belarus

Third Sunday of October:

Argentina

3 November:

Timor Leste

8 December:

Panama

22 December:

Indonesia

Mother’s Day quote

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” – Anonymous

HT: “Mothering Sunday” BBC and Wikipedia

Also see Father’s Day

02/08/2010. Category: info. Tags: , .

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