Friday, May 9, 2008

Mommy Dearest

Written by Lisa Smith

Moms deserve a special day all to themselves. Being a mom myself, I am probably biased, but…I believe that being a mother is the most difficult thing a woman can do & the accomplishment is something to be celebrated!

The origins of Mother’s Day have roots in the 1600s. Mothering Day as it was called in England, became an especially compassionate holiday toward the working class women. On the Sunday of Lent, servants and trade workers were allowed to travel back to their towns of origin to visit their families. Mothering Day also provided a one-day reprieve from the fasting and penance of Lent so that families across England could enjoy a sumptuous family feast — Mother was the guest of honor. Mothers were presented with cakes and flowers, as well as a visit from their beloved and distant children.

The modern day US celebration is very similar to the celebrations of the English so long ago. We shower our Mothers with flowers, greeting cards and gifts to thank them for their devotion and love. However, the Holiday is not specific to the United States and is celebrated all over the world in a number of different ways.

Argentina: During Día de la madre, young children gather their mothers together and read them poetry.

Japan: On haha no hi, families prepare traditional dishes that their mothers taught them to cook. The Japanese give their Mothers flowers (especially red carnations), scarves, handkerchiefs and handbags.

United Kingdom: The Mother’s day traditions include a gift of violet and the customary Simnel Cake, a glazed fruitcake inspired by a folk tale about a married couple, Simon and Nell. So the story goes, this pair could not decide bake or broil a cake. So in the end they did both. Thus Simnel Cake was born.

Finland: Mother’s Day is called aidipayiva and in the morning the family takes a walk, picks new flowers and makes a bouquet for their mother. A particular flower called the valkovuokko is favored. Mom is then presented with a decorated bouquet, while also being served breakfast in bed.

Sweden: Mother’s Day takes a charitable course; the Swedish Red Cross sells small plastic flowers leading up to the holiday, and the proceeds raised are given to poor mothers and their children.

This year to celebrate our wonderful Mothers in a new and different way, perhaps we can adopt a few of the unique customs that are celebrated around the world. Read a poem to your mom, bake a cake, serve her breakfast in bed, or make a charitable donation in her name. Take it from someone who knows, she will appreciate the originality and thought that is put into making Mother’s Day such a special and wonderful day of celebration!

Lisa Smith has a BA in Psychology & is the Owner/CEO of Regionz Kidz, a multi-cultural infant & toddler clothing line featuring ethnically diverse characters and designs. She publishes a blog on her website that discusses cultural diversity & children & is a frequent guest blogger on other blogs and websites regarding parenting and children’s issues. She is also a monthly contributor to Educated Mommy Magazine.

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