The origin of Mother's Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans. Ancient Romans, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. Ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born.
But the roots of Mother's Day history can also be traced back to the UK to the 1600’s. However, the celebration of the festival as it is seen today is a recent phenomenon and not even a hundred years old.
Mother's Day goes as far back as 1870 in the USA and it was proclaimed a national holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow. The custom of celebrating Mothering Sunday died out almost completely by the 19th century.
The day came to be celebrated again after World War II, when American servicemen brought the custom and commercial enterprises used it as an occasion for sales. While countries around the world celebrate their own Mother’s Day at different times throughout the year, several countries, including the United States, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Turkey and South Africa celebrate it on the second Sunday of May.
Millions of people across the globe, from 46 countries, take the day as an opportunity to honour their mothers, thank them for giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and cheerleader.
Julia Ward Howe wrote in 1870, “Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies; our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonour nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”
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