Mother’s day: origin over the world

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Mother’s day: origin over the world

Mother's Day is a worldwide event that pays tribute to mothers. It is celebrated in various ways around the world. In the United States, for example, Mother’s day will be on May 8 - the exact day varies every year as the date is always celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

However, the Arab world has a different day: Arab mothers are honored on March 21.They traditionally receive flowers, cards, presents, and family dinners as a recognition of their love, care, and sacrifices. 

But why do people all over the world celebrate this special holiday on different dates? What is the origin of Mother’s day? This article will explain the reasons behind each date’s choice.


The origin of Mother’s day in the U.S.A

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Back to the XIX century: Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped establish "Mothers' Day Work Clubs" to teach local women how to properly care for their children in the years leading up to the Civil War.


Jarvis arranged "Mothers' Friendship Day" in 1868, at which former Union and Confederate soldiers united with mothers to promote reconciliation.


Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and activist, was another forerunner of Mother's Day. In 1870, Howe issued the "Mother's Day Proclamation," a rallying cry for mothers to work together to promote world peace. Howe lobbied for a "Mother's Peace Day" to be observed every June 2nd in 1873.


Anna Jarvis, Ann Reeves Jarvis's daughter, was instrumental in establishing the official Mother's Day holiday in the early 1900s. Anna Jarvis created Mother's Day after her mother died in 1905. She wanted to commemorate the sacrifices mothers make for their children.


In May 1908, she arranged the first formal Mother's Day celebration at a Methodist church. Thousands of people attended a Mother's Day celebration.Jarvis, who had spent her entire life single and childless, decided to have her holiday added to the official national calendar after the success of her inaugural Mother's Day. 


By 1912, Mother's Day had become an annual holiday in many states, cities, and churches, and Jarvis had founded the Mother's Day International Association to further her cause. In 1914, her perseverance paid off when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.


The origin of Mother’s day in the Arab world

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The history of why this day is observed on March 21 may be traced back to the pharaohs' reign. The pharaohs held a high regard for women, particularly mothers.


Isis, an old Egyptian goddess, was a symbol of motherhood at the time, and that the ancient Egyptians used to create boats laden with flowers to float through Egyptian cities on this precise day to celebrate, a ritual that the Greeks and Romans continued.


In the modern age, Mostafa Amin, an Egyptian journalist, revived the notion when he referenced Mother's Day in one of his works in 1943, and ten years later, he filed an official request to the government and launched a campaign in support of it.After a woman approached Amin at his newspaper, he got particularly interested in the subject. 


The woman told him about how she raised her son as a single parent and paid for his studies till he became a doctor. She bought a house to marry in, but her son had ceased visiting her after he married, to the point that she had become psychologically unwell and couldn't find someone to care for her.


Amin approached the Minister of Education about establishing this day, which was accepted by then-President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who said in 1956 that mothers would be honored on March 21st, and the rest of the Arab world followed suit.


When Amin was detained on suspicion of espionage for the United States, the Egyptian government changed the name to Family Day, but after receiving several letters from Egyptian moms protesting the move, it was renamed Mother's Day.

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