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When the World Celebrates Mothers


We tend to think more about who we need to be thankful for on special days such as Mother’s Day. Many of us do special things to show appreciation towards mothers or mother figures on this annual celebration. Interestingly, Mother’s Day entails expressions of gratitude in different countries on various calendar days.

Mother’s Day is held on the second Sunday of May in many countries, such as Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Rooted in traditional Egyptian, Greek or Roman goddesses, Mother’s Day became more universal after Anna Jarvis petitioned, from 1908 to 1914, to honor her own mother and the mothers of sons who lost their lives during the American Civil War.

In the United Kingdom, Mother’s Day is held exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, on the forth Sunday of lent. Some still bake Simnel Cake, a fruit cake with almonds, to represent a break from the fasting from lent for mothers.

Costa Rica celebrates mothers on August 15, the same day as Assumption Day, France, last Sunday in May, Georgia, March 3, Samoa, second Monday of May, North Korea, November 16, and Thailand, August 12. Such variation of dates reflects wide-ranging celebration of each country’s particular female model, deity or idol.

Mexican mothers are serenaded with the song “Las Mañanitas” on May 10, while Argentinian mothers read to their children on the third Sunday of October to mark their version of Mother’s Day. Japanese children draw their mothers in a contest. Samoans organize elaborate song and dance performances throughout the country on Mother’s Day. When the world celebrates mothers, all is jovial and festive.

Carnations or roses are popular as Mother’s Day symbols across Asia and America. Other typical Mothers’ Day presents include cards, cakes, chocolates, and gifts. People gather, celebrate, and spend -- Mother’s Day is largely commercialized, with flower shops, jewelry stores, gift shops, restaurants, theaters, airlines, hotels, and department stores advertising promotions and special deals competing for business.

However commercialized Mother’s Day is nowadays, people are willing to spend and buy into advertising gimmicks. Who minds getting a tad showy or tasteless? Who minds taking that extra time to pick out something to please Mom? However far or distant, a kind gesture is all it takes to brighten up someone’s day, someone who has given or nurtured your life. Call, invite, prepare, accompany, and share with Mom. Celebration of mothers ought to be nothing but the very gentlest.

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