Everyone knows Mother’s Day is the day to shower your mom with affection (and maybe take her out for a nice meal). But just how many people plan to do that each year? Here are a few facts from around the world that you probably should know this Mother’s Day. Though. the ironic part is it was first campaigned by Anna Jarvis, for a national day of observance for moms, in remembrance of her own mother but Jarvis became so disgusted with how commercial the day had become that she started a petition to rescind the holiday. (That clearly didn’t come to a pass)
Mother’s Day in many countries has little or nothing to do with Anna Jarvis’s creation, nor does it always occur in May. These are just a few of those other Mother’s Days. Let’s have a look at them too!
1. UK – MOTHERING SUNDAY, FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Hundreds of years ago, Christians were expected to make at least one return to their mother church each year. In other words, Mothering Sunday was the ultimate guilt trip to visit the woman or entity that gave them life. Was that so much to ask? The fourth Sunday of Lent became the designated day to make this journey, and remains the go-to holiday to celebrate Moms to this day.
2. MIDDLE EAST (VARIOUS) – MOTHER’S DAY OR SPRING EQUINOX, MARCH 21
Egyptian journalist Mustafa Amin introduced the idea of a Mother’s Day to his home country, and it quickly spread throughout much of the region. Inspired by a story of a thankless widow ignored by an ungrateful son, Amin and his brother Ali successfully proposed a day in Egypt to honor all mothers.
3. NEPAL – MOTHER PILGRIMAGE FORTNIGHT (BETWEEN LATE APRIL AND EARLY MAY)
Stemming from an ancient Hindu tradition, this festival of honoring mothers is still commonly celebrated in Nepal. The holiday honors both the living and the dead equally. Traditionally, those honoring mothers who have passed away make a pilgrimage to the Mata Tirtha ponds near Kathmandu. A large carnival is also held in the Mata Tirtha village. Children show their mothers appreciation with sweets and gifts.
4. FRANCE – MOTHER’S DAY OR FÊTE DES MÈRES, LAST SUNDAY IN MAY
Celebrating a few Sundays later than the rest of the world feels so… ummm, French. France has a storied history of attempts to create a national Mother’s Day. Napoleon tried to mandate a national maternal holiday at the turn of the 19th century. But things ended up not working out so well for him and his holiday. More than a century later, Lyon held its own Mother’s Day celebration to honor women who lost sons to the First World War. It was not until May 24, 1950 that the Fête des Mères became an officially decreed holiday.
5. BOLIVIA – MOTHER’S DAY, MAY 27
During the struggle for independence from Spain in the early 19th century, many of the country’s fathers, sons, and husbands were injured and killed on the battlefields. As the history is told to Bolivian students, one group of women from Cochabamba refused to stand idly by; on May 27, they banded together to fight the Spanish Army on Coronilla Hill. Though hundreds died in battle, the legacy of their contributions lives on thanks to a national law passed in the 1920s making the day on which the “Heroinas of Coronilla” took to the streets national Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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