Amanda and I (Spring 1988)
The modern tradition of Mother's Day was first celebrated in America, in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother and then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day' a holiday.
Many celebrations of mothers and motherhood have occurred for thousands of years. Today, Mother's Day is celebrated on various days and in many parts of the world.
Mother's Day through the years and around the World
In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is associated with the Virgin Mary.
In Australia, the chrysanthemum (ends in 'mum') is a traditional flower for mothers.
In Belgium, fathers buy croissants and other sweet breads and pastries and bring them to the mother while she is still in bed.
A tradition in Quebec is for men to offer roses or other flowers to the important women in their lives.
In China, the carnation is the most sold flower on Mother's Day.
In 1920s France, the government awarded the Medaille de la Famille to mothers of large families, hoping to encourage population growth.
In Germany, in 1938, the government issued an award called Mutterkreuz (Mother's Cross) with categories that depended on the number of children a mother had. Recipients were compelled to be examined by doctors and social workers according to genetic and racial values considered beneficial. Friends and family were also examined. The mother had to be 'racially and morally fit, German-blooded, genetically healthy, and politically reliable.' Poor housekeeping, smoking, drinking, or even contact with a Jew could disqualify a mother!
Traditionally, mothers have great importance in Indian culture. Special acts are performed to honor them and their contribution to the family.
In Indonesia, surprise parties and competitions (for cooking and kebaya wearing) are held on Mother's Day.
In the Philippines, the mother is called the "light of the household" around which all activities revolve.
The UK celebrates 'Mothering Sunday.' This holiday evolved from the 16th century practice of visiting one's mother church annually, and has mixed together with Mother's Day.
Ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses, Rhea
Mother's Day in the US
Celebrated on the second Sunday in May, Mother's Day is the third most popular card-giving day, and the second most popular gift-giving day.
Mother's Day accounts for approximately 1/4th of the floral purchases made for holidays.
Popular plants for Mother's Day
14.6 Billion dollars will be spent on gifts for Mother's Day.
26,683 jewelry stores will place orders for gifts on Mother's Day.
Did you know?
Rajo Devi became the oldest woman in recorded history to ever give birth on November 28, 2008 when the 70-year-old delivered a baby girl in India.
Feodor Vassilyev and his first wife, whose name is unknown, holds the record for most children a couple has parented. She gave birth to a total of 69 children. She gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 births. 67 of the 69 children born were said to have survived infancy.
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