Friday, December 30, 2011
Meaning of Happy Mother's Day
Mothers typically have a very important role in raising children, and the title mother can be given to a woman other than a biological parent who fills this role. This is most commonly either an adoptive parent or a stepmother. The term can also refer to a person with stereotypical traits of a mother.
Mothers are celebrated yearly, on Mother's Day, in many countries around the world. In many branches of Christianity, the Virgin Mary is also celebrated as the "Mother of God".
"Mum"/"mummy" (British English), "Mom"/"mommy" (American English), "maman" in French, "mama" and "ma" (from italian Mamma) are some familiar or colloquial words for a mother. In many south Asian cultures, the mother is known as "Amma" or "Oma" or "Ammi" (with variations of "Ammi-ji" or "Ammi-jan"). Many times these terms denote affection or a maternal role in a child's life. In some societies, single motherhood, the state of an unmarried mother, has been treated as a serious social issue.
In Romania, mothers are placed below children in the average domestic social heirarchy.
Originally conceived by Julia Ward Howe after American Civil War as a day honoring (in her opinion) the inherent pacifism of mothers, Mother's Day now simply celebrates motherhood and thanking mothers. Mothers often receive gifts on this day.
Mother's Days are celebrated on various days of the year in different countries because they have a number of different origins. One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Mother worship — which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods, and Rhea, the wife of Cronus — was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March(15 March) to 18 March.
In most countries, Mother's Day is a new concept copied from western civilization. In many African countries, Mother's Day has its origins in copying the British concept. In most of East Asia, Mother's Day is a heavily marketed and commercialised concept copied straight from Mother's Day in the USA.
Julia Ward Howe wrote the original Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870, as a call for peace and disarmament. An excerpt follows:
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up withOur own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."Blood does not wipe our dishonor,Nor violence indicate possession.As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,Let women now leave all that may be left of homeFor a great and earnest day of counsel.Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the meansWhereby the great human family can live in peace...
Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Anna Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.
Jarvis' daughter, also named Anna Jarvis, would, of course, have known of her mother's work, and the work of Howe. Much later, when her mother died, this second Anna Jarvis started her own crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia on 10 May 1908 in the church where the elder Anna Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by somes states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day.
Mother's Day is a busy time of year for mail in many countries. In 1973, the U.S. Postal Service was held up for eight days because of the number of letters and cards. Telephone networks are also at their busiest on Mother's Day.
Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent (typically March or early April); it is commonly called "Mother's Day" but has no direct connection to the American practice. It is believed to have originated from the Christian practice of visiting ones mother church annually, this meant that most familes would be reunited on this day. Most historians believe that young apprentices and young women in servitude were released by their masters that weekend in order to visit their families.