Monday, 10 March 2014

Mother’s Day: Origins and Cultural Differences

In many countries across the world, Mother’s Day is an important event, where people take the opportunity to thank their mothers for their continued love and support, and more importantly, for giving them life. Here in Britain, we usually celebrate by buying our mothers a card, flowers and a gift or by taking them out for a meal. However, other countries celebrate in a very different manner.

But where does Mother’s Day come from?

The origins can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Both societies had spring festivals devoted to maternal goddesses, which often included feasts and masquerades. By the 17th century, on the 4th Sunday of Lent, Christian celebrated Mothering Sunday; a day devoted to the Virgin Mary. However, over time, this day came to celebrate all mothers, not just the Virgin Mary. By the 19th century, Mothering Sunday had almost died out until it was revived after World War 2 for commercial purposes in America.

How do different countries celebrate?

India: The Hindus in India celebrate the divine mother, the goddess Durga, with a 10 day festival called Durga Puja.

Japan: The Japanese call Mother’s Day ‘haha no hi’. On this day, the children draw pictures of their mothers and enter then in a contest. The best pictures are then showcased throughout Japan and other countries in a wonderful art show.

Finland: On Mother’s Day morning, all the family (apart from the mother) go for a walk and pick flowers to make a bouquet for the mother. This bouquet is then presented to her with breakfast in bed.
Italy: The Italians celebrate in much the same way that we do, however, they usually bake a cake in the shape of a heart for the mother.

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