Today is Mother’s Day, so let us wish a happy day to all the wonderful mothers who are in this world, wherever they may be.
In Pakistan, this celebration is only now beginning to make an impact on our society and signs of celebration can be seen in places, especially the commercial outlets. But it’s a lovely way to honour your mother and detractors should not be allowed to dub it a ‘western’ idea and knock its importance — we have been taught that paradise lies beneath the feet of a mother, so celebrating this notion is in keeping with our belief. Sending flowers and gifts are now a common practice, so don’t be shy — send your Mum a special message on her day; don’t forget to pamper her and let her know you love her!
Of course we should always love and respect our parents but that does not mean we cannot have a ‘special’ day for them because there are days to celebrate many other aspects of life, so why not for the most important person in the family?
There are many legends which indicate how the second Sunday in May become universally dedicated to mothers and they make for interesting reading. In the times of the ancient Greeks, Rhea, the mother of the gods, was honoured with a special festival which some say is the forerunner of the present Mother’s Day. In the US the first observance of this day took place in 1872 when Julia Ward Howe, social reformer and poet, suggested a day to honour mothers, dedicated to peace, an idea she got from another woman, Anna Jarvis, who had earlier attempted to establish what she called ‘Mothers’ Work Day.’
Then a man named Frank Hering launched his campaign for observance of Mother’s Day in 1904 but was not successful. Mary Towles Sasseen, a devoted teacher and daughter tried to begin the tradition of honouring mothers but with a cruel twist of fate she died in childbirth.
Following her mother’s footsteps, Anna Jarvis Jr. started her own crusade to found a day for women by campaigning for a nationally recognised Mother’s Day and succeeded in getting her hometown to celebrate Mother’s Day on the anniversary of her mother’s death — the second Sunday in May. She also began the tradition of wearing a carnation in honour of mothers — a coloured carnation if your mother is still living, a white one if she is not.
Eventually, the second Sunday in May was officially declared as ‘Mother’s Day.’ by President Woodrow Wilson.
It is now one of the most commercially successful holidays as children around the world pay tribute to their mothers with gifts; messages; telephone calls and most of all, flowers, which convey loving sentiments for many an occasion. So, forget about it being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘a western tradition’ and enjoy it for what it represents — a tribute to mothers.