Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mother's Day; How it Really Began

Like so many holidays we as a nation commemorate,  Mother's Day is one we keep with religious zeal but have no idea how it began.
The celebration of Mother's Day is centuries old. Though like x-mas and easter, Mom's day has been commercialised in modern times, Mother's Day is in fact, has centuries. Cultures around the world  still celebrate Mother's Day as the mother goddess as a representative of nurturing and the giver of all life.


Ancient Egyptians celebrated the mother goddess Isis, the Greeks celebrated the goddess Rhea, who was the mother of most of the Greek gods, including Zeus.
  Ancient Rome, Cybele was the major mother figure; and as early as 2250 B.C., the Romans celebrated a festival of Hilaria, which occurred in the spring and was dedicated to the mother goddess. In Taoism, the end of May is celebrated as the "mother of the world" day, recognising the goddess as the origin of all things. Incense is burned and the focus is on meditating on divine harmony.
The Middle Ages would see the white washing of the goddnes. Folks in remote villages attended the main church in their parish- known as the "mother" church, for a special service. In England, a day known as "Mothering Sunday" fell on the fourth Sunday of Lent. A day when working people were allowed to take time off to go home to visit their mothers, often bringing her little treats or flowers.
Here in North American, the very first Mother's Day was a call for peace. Julia Ward Howe wrote a proclamation in 1870 that called for mothers to stop their sons from killing the sons of other mothers. She asked for an international Mother's Day of Peace.
As I wrote in my last post, it was Anna Jarvis who we have to thank for Mother's Day.
Her mother had held, Mother's Friendship Day to bring back together families and friends who had been parted during the Civil War. Ms. Jarvis wanted to continue to the tradition her mother started.
The Torah commands us as children, whether still in nappies or changing their grandbabies' nappies, to honour our mothers and fathers. We are commanded because is, at times, not an easy think to do. But when we remember the love, the care, the nights without sleep, trying to rock us to sleep and then later, waiting for us to return home from dates.
I often say, every day is Mother's Day. A day to tell my mother I love her. To give her flowers or collard greens. To watch a movie with and share a laugh. To make sure she has the things she needs, including a visit from her grand dog.
"I gave my mother her flowers while she was alive." My mother often says.
I tradition I picked as well.
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