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Mother´s Day -- A Worldwide Celebration

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Mother´s Day is celebrated in most countries, and the holiday is almost as old as the world.

The first Mother’s Day celebrations date back to Ancient Greeks, who used to pay homage to the goddess Rhea, mother of the powerful gods Zeus, Poseidon and Hades."

The Romans adopted this Greek holiday and decided to call it Hilaria [the name of the mother goddess of Rome]. They began to celebrate it on three consecutive days [March 22nd to 25th] at the temple of Cybele [or Magna Mater] in Rome, Italy." Hilaria Festival included games, amusement, masquerades, and public sacrificies and became so wild, that eventually those who participated in the festivities had to be banished from Rome. Eventually, when Rome converted to Christianity, the Hilaria Festival became part of the liturgical calendar and was used to honor the Virgin Mary.

In Celtic Britain, the celebration of St. Bride or Brigid, the daughter of Dagda the father god in Irish Mythology and considered as the Celtic equivalent of the Roman goddess Minerva) is considered to have been attempt to celebrate Mother's Day. Later, in the 17th Century, England began a more traditional Mother's Day celebration on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It was known (and still is) as Mothering Sunday, and it began when apprentices and servants used to return home on that one day to visit their mothers, bringing gifts or a traditional "mothering cake". By the 19th century, Mothering Sunday had all but disappeared, and it was not until after World War II that American servicement brought the holiday and its commercial side to the British Isles.

In ancient Mexico, the Aztecs already celebrated maternity by paying homage to the goddess Coatlicue, mother of the god Huitzilopochtli, one of the Aztecs’ most powerful deities, and Mexico’s first modern Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1911. It was not until 1922 that May 10th was officially designated at Mother’s Day, at the instance of journalist Rafael Alducin, director and founder of Excelsior, one of Mexico’s largest newspapers.

It is a well known fact that Mother’s Day is THE biggest holiday in the Mexico. Schools devote the day to festivals, poems, songs, and dances in praise of their mothers and grandmothers who stoically sit for hours watching their children and grandchildren perform to celebrate the day.

Mother’s Day in Mexico is always on May 10th, regardless of whether it is a Monday or a Sunday, many companies only work half day, and restaurants are literally full to the brim. In Michigan, many Mexican mothers continue to celebrate on the May 10th (and then smartly celebrate also on the local Mother’s Day Sunday).

Mexico is known for its matriarchal society, and Mother’s Day is proof of that.

"My mother could make anybody feel guilty -- she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know." -- Joan Rivers

In the United States, the history of Mother's Day began more recently in 1908, when Ana Jarvis of Philadelpia presented a proposal to her friends to establish a Mother’s Day celebration.

The first unofficial Mother’s Day celelbration in the United States was held at a Methodist Church in Grafton, Virginia, (coincidentally) on May 10th, 1908, with the participation of 407 mothers and their families. It was not until May 10th, 1913 that a resolution to officially celebrate Mother’s Day passed, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in the United States.

One last interesting fact: According to research engine Statistic Brain, Americans spend $671 million a year in Mother's Day Cards, and $1.9 billion on flowers for their mothers and grandmothers.

Happy 2014 Mother’s Day!

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