Jewish Proverb: God could not be everywhere and therefore be made mothers.
Ancient celebrations of motherhood
People in many ancient cultures celebrated holidays honoring motherhood, personified as a goddess. Here are just a few of those:
Ancient Greeks celebrated a holiday in honor of Rhea(Photo), the mother of the gods, including Zeus.
Ancient Romans celebrated a holiday in honor of Cybele, a mother goddess.
In the British Isles and Celtic Europe, the goddessBrigid(Photo), and later her successor St. Brigid, were honored with a spring Mother's Day.
Motherhood honoured in modern times
Mothers' Day is not celebrated on the same day throughout the world, for instance, in America Mother's Day occurs on the second Sunday in May while in Britain it is honored on the fourth Sunday in Lent(For more information on Lent, please check out Lent in "Easter's dictionary" or Carnival in "Word & Story").
** Mother's Day in Britain (March 21st, 2006 )
Mothering Sunday was celebrated in Britain beginning in the 17th century.
It began as a day when apprentices and servants could return home for the day to visit their mothers. Traditionally, men went home with a gift of "mothering cake" -- a kind of fruitcake or fruit-filled pastry known as simnel cake (Photo ).
** Mother's Day in America (May 14th, 2006)
Thanks to Anna M. Jarvis, Mother's Day has become an official holiday in the United States.
After a year when her mother died on May 9, 1905, Anna M. Jarvis attended a memorial service at their church. Inspired by the service, she thought it would be wonderful if people set aside a time to pay personal tribute to their mothers. Then, the daughter began using some of her inheritance to promote a day that would honor all mothers.
She and others staged a letter-writing campaign to ministers, businessmen, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. They were successful in the end. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day a national observance that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.
Carnation: the symbol of Mother's Day
It was Jarvis who originated the custom of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day because carnation was her mother's favorite flower.
A pink carnation is to honor a living mother and a white carnation is memory of a mother who passed away.