Sunday, May 11, 2014

A special day

In the United States today, Sunday May 11 is Mother’s Day.  As with many holidays its origins are often lost in a flurry of greeting cards, bouquets of flowers, meals eaten in restaurants so that Mom doesn’t have to cook.  But there is a history dating back over a hundred years.

In the US Mothers began at the end of the US Civil war in 1868.  At that time it wasn’t meant to honor all women with children rather to honor and comfort mothers whose sons had died in the war. Known then as Mothers Friendship Day It was intended to unite the nation once again as mothers day was to honor families without regard to which side they fought for.  In 1914, after another war, it was designated an official holiday.  Over the years, the holiday has lost its connection to the battles fought and evolved to honor all mothers, really all people who fill that role in the lives of children grown and growing.

While these origins are specific to the US, a holiday to honor Mothers is not.  Nor is the date although May seems to have the most Mothers Days around the world.  The US is joined by Australia, Poland, Zambia and Bolivia among others celebrating in May.  Other countries celebrate in other months including - 

Norway in February.
Nigeria, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Sudan and the UK among the countries in March
Morocco and Kenya in June. 
Argentina in October
Russia in November when they celebrate International Women’s Day, rather than Mothers Day.
And in December in Indonesia, Mother’s Day is added to the year-end festivities.

Happy Mothers Day to mothers everywhere.

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