Mum’s the word this Sunday, so treat yours to something special

Sandy Kathrayan-Moodley and her son, Brandon Moodley with Cindy Francis and Grace prepare to celebrate Mother's Day.

MOTHER’S Day is a day for many people to show their appreciation towards mothers and mother figures worldwide.

It is an annual event but is held at different dates in the calendar, depending on the country. In South Africa it is held on the second Sunday of May.

Early Mother’s Day celebrations can be dated back to the spring celebrations to honor Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, in ancient Greek civilisation, according to some sources.

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Later, Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom was traditionally a day for people to visit the church where they were baptised, although it now also celebrates motherhood in modern times.

The modern-day origins of Mother’s Day can be attributed to two women – Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis, who were important in establishing the tradition in the United States.

Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for Mother’s Day to be celebrated each year. It continued to be held in Boston for about 10 years under her sponsorship, but died out after that.

Other sources say that Juliet Calhoun Blakely initiated Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the late 1800s.

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In 1907, Anna Jarvis held a private Mother’s Day celebration in memory of her mother, Ann Jarvis, in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1908, she played a key role in arranging a church service that attracted 407 children and their mothers.

Anna Jarvis asked for the official symbol for the day to be white carnations. A Mother’s Day International Association was founded in 1912 to promote the holiday in other countries. Mother’s Day has grown increasingly popular since then.

Mother’s Day is now largely commercialised, with card companies, flower shops, jewellery stores, gift shops, restaurants, hotels, and department stores advertising promotions and special deals for this event. Anna Jarvis, in later life, unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit to stop the over-commercialisation of Mother’s Day.

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Susan Cooke
Features Editor

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