March 21, 2006

Mother's Day? When is it?

For the past few years I find myself confused about this day. Here in the US, we celebrate Mother's Day on the 2nd Sunday in May. In the Arab world, it is celebrated on March 21st, which usually comes as a surprise to me because I'm not expecting to hear "happy mother's day" on Arabic satellite TV channels on this day.

Apparently, this day is celebrated around the year in different parts of the world, the most common day being the 2nd Sunday in May. Wikipedia has a more on when the holiday is celebrated in different parts of the world as well as the history of this day.

Interestingly enough,
Mother's Day in the United States was first proclaimed in 1870 in Boston by Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, and Howe called for it to be observed each year nationally in 1872. As originally envisioned, Howe's "Mother's Day" was a call for pacifism and disarmament by women. Early "Mother's Day" was mostly marked by women's peace groups. A common early activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War.
I doubt that these women would have wanted their special day to be abused by Hallmark and the rest of corporate America. It's fascinating to see how the meaning of this day has completely changed over the years.

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