Guest Post from across the pond in advance of Mother’s Day!
With Mothering Sunday fast approaching, many of us will be making plans to spend the day with our families. This isn’t just a special day in the UK though. The act of motherhood is celebrated in many different ways all around the world, so why not take some inspiration from these varied traditions for your ownMother’s Day celebrations?
In October every year, ten days are set aside for a celebration which honours Durga, the Hindu goddess of mothers. This celebration combines a religious festival with time for families to come together. Usually, families will spend the weeks leading up to the festival decorating their homes and preparing special food.
In early Autumn, at the end of the rainy season, Ethiopia celebrates the Antrosht festival. This is a two-to-three day festival in which children bring food home to their mothers. The family then gathers to share a meal and tell tales of family history.
Japan began to celebrate a version of Mother’s Day after World War II. The practice became popular as it provided an opportunity to comfort the mothers who had lost sons during the fighting. Carnations are presented during the holiday, which is now celebrated in May. In Japan the carnation symbolizes sweetness and endurance, an ideal metaphor for motherhood. Initially, the tradition was for a red carnation to be given to living mums and for a white carnation to be displayed by those who had lost their mothers.
Russia initially celebrated Mother’s Day as ‘International Women’s Day’ while it was part of the USSR. Originally it was a ‘day of struggle’ to commemorate the hard lives of working women. More recently, it has become more like our own Mother’s Day, where flowers are given and motherhood is celebrated. It now takes place on the last Sunday of November, and has been known as Mother’s Day since 1998. Sometimes the day is marked by large-scale events, including crawling races involving over 100 babies. But others choose to celebrate more quietly at home!