To all Mothers… with Love

« L’avenir d’un enfant est l’oeuvre de sa mère »

Napoléon Bonaparte

While in May roses and daisies are blooming around, sons and daughters from around the world are setting up plans to surprise their own mothers during their celebrative day.

So, hurry up or run like the wind, most of the time not exactly as figurative as expected, to fetch the best bouquet or the most appropriate last anti-wrinkle lotion (what sweet girls we are).

But how it all started? Is it celebrated in the same way and at the same time in all countries?

Let’s find it out.

According to the writer and suffragist, Julia Ward Howe, the idea of celebrating a mothers’ day was born in Boston in the late 19th century, as a chance to gather together women for peace. However, some other sources declare that the celebration, as we all know it, has been brought to life by the west Virginia activist Anna Jarvis.

Later on, Anna Jarvis organized several Mother day work clubs with the aim of addressing topics like child rearing and public health together with the commemoration of mother’s work, who was a community advocate.

The observation became official in USA, in 1914, when the then American president Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as “the celebrative day” for the expression of love and devotion for our mothers.

Nowadays, the motherhood recurrence does not involve always all the same elements and customs.

In France, for example, the celebration has been legally established in 1950, “la fetes des mères” to take place on the fourth Sunday of May except when it overlaps religious fundamental recurrences: generally when this happens, the former is postponed. Anyway, if you should make a comparison with the American version, it is possible to say that cards, cakes, dinners and flowers are still in France, the most common gift during that day.

In UK, the celebration has been observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent and it has been called Mothering Sunday since the early 16th century. Families used to gather together and to attend the mass. Later on, it evolved into traditional time at home. And this year, the tradition has been fully respected.

Some other countries are extremely fond of this celebration. One example is Mexico. Here, some years ago, it has been reported to the Washington post that the Mother’s day is the busiest day for Mexican restaurants. A fun fact to mention is that as a present for their mothers, it is common to dedicated them a serenate of the song “Las Mananitas” performed by Mariachi.

Japan, on the other hand, connects the celebration with deep meanings too. Initially aligned with the Empress Koujun, nowadays it has been estimated that the 87% of adult men regularly plan something on their Mothers’ day.

In Russia during the Soviet Union Regime, the mothers were celebrated on March 8, the same day of the International women’s day to honor not only motherhood but also gender equality. From the late 90s, Russia introduced Mother’s day on the last Sunday in November.

As for some Arab countries, like for example Egypt and Lebanon the Mother’s day is celebrated on March 21 which is also the first day of spring.

As for Italy, as we all know, the Mother’s day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, this year 2020, on May 10th. It was during this lockdown, when the world is still holding its breath, celebrating our mothers is only possible from a certain distance. If the delivery is not enough to amaze them let’s move to the screen. An available option could be the use of a Zoom call for a little virtual house-party; for the occasion it has been made up a partnership between Dove and Zoom which allowed unlimited calls just for Mother’s day without the risk of getting cut after the 40 minutes time limit on ordinary meetings.

In conclusion, a big thanks to all the mums through time is certainly needed; not only today but for all the moments we had to be proud to be their sons and daughters.

Fanny Trivigno