Friday, May 7, 2010
FOR MOTHERS DAY
Sunday is Mother's Day, so do something for Mom. People have been celebrating Mothers Day for quite a while, at least as far back as the ancient Greeks when children brought Mom offerings of honey-cakes and fine drinks and Hallmark Cards. (Just kidding about the cards) The Romans built a temple to Magna Mater (the Mother Goddess of all Mothers) where people gathered in her honor on the Festival of Hilaria. The Brits celebrated "Mothering Sunday" in the 1600s, on the fourth Sunday of Lent. And so on.
According to the Legacy Project, the modern Mothers Day owes its origin to the peace and justice movements. "In the United States, Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), a Boston writer, pacifist, suffragist, and author of the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, first suggested a Mothers' Day in 1872. She saw it as a day dedicated to peace."
Responding to the suffering after the Civil War, Howe asked "Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?"
"The official observance of Mother's Day in its present form is credited to Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) of Philadelphia, PA." Jarvis wanted to celebrate the life of her own mother, a social activist who organized Mother's clubs "to combat the poor health and sanitation conditions that existed in many areas and contributed to the high mortality rate of children. The social action brigades provided medicine for the poor, nursing care for the sick, and arranged help and proper medical care for those ill with tuberculosis."
"At the heart of the traditions around Mother's Day are themes of honoring mothers, compassion, peace, reconciliation, and social action."
Research courtesy of The Legacy Project, "a literacy and life education project for the twenty-first century. It takes a big picture approach to creating your life, connecting with others, and changing the world. It builds on and enhances the education children receive in school, and provides avenues for lifelong learning for adults."
Visit The Legacy Project