I have had a rather intriguing two days chatting to mums about how they celebrated Mother’s Day. It is a world-wide celebration and Facebook entries have soured with photos of happy Mums, remembering Mums who have passed on and how people have celebrated.
Modern day Mother’s Day seems a great marketing idea, so I decided to explore history to see where it all started. To my surprise it started back in Greece 250 BC!
Earliest History of Mother’s Day http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com
The earliest history of Mother’s Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honour Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.
Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be noted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome.
Early Christians celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honour of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers. It was then called Mothering Sunday.
It is also intriguing the role Dads play in helping children celebrate Mother’s Day and how they celebrate with their Mums. Is their activity role modeled from their fathers? This year was unique with Mother's Day landing one day after the start of duck shooting! I imagine this would have changed the celebrating dynamics in many New Zealand homes.
I was fortunate to receive calls from my 2 adult sons who live away from me and my daughter invited me to dinner. Other Mums I have spoken to had heard from some of their children and not others. Some children simply said they didn't believe in Mother’s Day or any other ‘special’ days, hence no calls to their mothers.
Knowing the history behind the day gives it more significance, honouring our mothers for nurturing us, caring for us, loving us and simply being there when we were hurt, sad, happy and just being ourselves.
Let us continue to celebrate Mother's Day.