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History of Mother's Day

Published:Monday | May 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

 Origin of Mother's Day goes back to the era of ancient Greeks and Romans.

But the roots of Mother's Day history can also be traced in the United Kingdom where a Mothering Sunday was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of the day in the United States. However, the celebration of the festival as it is seen today is a recent phenomenon and not even a hundred years old. Thanks to the hard work of the pioneering women of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis that the day came into existence.

Today the festival of Mother's Day is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates) and is a hugely popular affair. Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honour their mothers, thank them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and well-wisher.

The earliest history of Mother's Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honour Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.

'Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be noted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome.

'Early Christians celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honour of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers. It was then called Mothering Sunday.

'Source: www.mothersdaycelebration.com