This year’s falls on the 8th of May… but for some of you know that UK celebrated Mothering Sunday on April 2nd…read on…
MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day – May 8th
Moms are the best things that ever happened in the world. On May 11th every year, we celebrate Ã¢â‚¬ËœMotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s DayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ as an opportunity to express our love, respect and gratitude to our mothers for all the things she has done for us. Alchemy Webmedia has tried to consolidate the origin, history, legends and stories of this very special day, just for you.
The roots of MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day go back to the ancient festivals dedicated to mother goddess. In the ancient Greek empire, Rhea, the wife of Cronus, and mother of Gods and Goddesses, was worshipped and honored at this time every year in a spring celebration. In Rome too, Cybele, a mother Goddess, was worshipped, as early as 250 BC. It was known as Hilaria, and it lasted for three days, called the Ides of March, that is from March 15 to March 18. In more recent times, during the 1600s, England observed Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mothering SundayÃ¢â‚¬?, or the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mid-Lent-Sunday, on the fourth Sunday in Lent. It was quite identical to the modern-day celebrations.
In England where small chapels of ease served the ordinary needs of the country parishioners, the people went on Mid-Lent Sunday to the Ã¢â‚¬ËœMother ChurchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of the parish, laden with offerings. The historians hypothesize that the Mother Church was substituted for Mother Goddess by the early church, who adopted the ancient Roman ceremonies in honor of Cybele to venerate Mother Mary. And this is why it became customary to visit the church on the day of baptism or on MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day.
The custom began for those working away from homes to return to their homes on Mothering Sunday with small gifts, or, mothering cakes for their mothers. Back home they presented their mothers with a cake and little nosegays of violets and other wild flowers gathered in the hedgerows as they walked along the country lanes. Whole families attended church together and there was a dinner of roast lamb, or veal, at which mother was treated as queen of the feast. Everything was done to make her happy. The custom of Mothering Sunday became more widespread during the 19th century. Any youth engaged in such act of duty was said to go Ã¢â‚¬ËœamotheringÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. They day was celebrated with a festive mood appropriate to that day. The prominent dish was called furmety. It was a dish of wheat grains boiled in sweet milk, sugared and spiced.
In the northern part of England and Scotland there had been a custom of having steeped peas fried in butter, with pepper and salt. Pancakes so prepared passed by the name of carlings. It was so popular that from it Carling Sunday became a local name for the day.
The mothering cake also went by the name of Simnel cake. This was a very rich fruit cake, the richer the better. For, the Lenten fast dictated that it must keep until Easter. First boiled in water and then baked, it sometimes had an almond icing. At other times the crust was of flour and water, colored with saffron. The word Simnel comes from the Latin Simila, which means high-grade wheat flour.
The customs of the Mothering Sunday in England started to decline with the changing pattern of the society following the Industrial Revolution.
In the United States, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) is credited with bringing in the celebration of MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s day. Anna Jarvis intended to start a MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day as an honoring of mothers. The idea itself was so great that it did not take long to be spread all over. Leaving aside the first observance, the official recognition that followed for the observance came in galore. The governor of West Virginia issued the first MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day proclamation in 1910. Oklahoma celebrated it in that same year. It stirred the same way in as far west as the state of Washington. And by 1911, there was not a state in the Union that did not have its own observances for MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day. Soon it crossed the national boundary, as people in Mexico, Canada, South America, China, Japan and Africa all joined the spree to celebrate a day for mother love.
The immense popularity of the Day led to foundation of MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day International Association on December 12, 1912. Its purpose was to promote and encourage meaningful observances of the event across the world. It was in 1934 Postmaster General James A. Farley announced a stamp to commemorate MotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day. The stamp featured the famous painting Ã¢â‚¬Å“Arrangement in Grey and BlackÃ¢â‚¬?. The painting was a portrait of the mother of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, an English artist. It was brought in to the United States as part of an exhibit in the year 1934.
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