Word Echoes from SANZ: “Celebrating Mothers around the World”

Written by on May 8, 2018


The modern Mother’s Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April, or May as a day to honour mothers and motherhood. It was given different meanings associated to different events – religious, historical or legendary.

In the Hindu tradition it is called “Mata Tirtha Aunshi” or “Mother Pilgrimage fortnight”, celebrated especially in Nepal.
It is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh i.e. April/May.

Mother’s day in most Arab countries is celebrated on March 21.
It was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in his book in 1943.
When Amin heard the story of a widowed mother who devoted her whole life to raise her son until he became a doctor, got married and left without showing her any gratitude.
Amin became motivated to promote “Mother’s Day”.
Mother’s Day was first celebrated on the 21st March 1956 and has since been copied by other Arab countries.

In Australia, it is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May.
The tradition of gift giving to mothers was started by Mrs. Janet Heyden in 1924.
She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women,
where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers.
To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children
& businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women.

It is celebrated in Bolivia on May 27. The Dia de la Madre Boliviana was passed into law
on November 8, 1927 and commemorates the Battle of Coronilla during the Bolivian War of Independence.
In this battle, women fighting for the country’s independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army.
Schools make activities and festivities during this day “Ma Dibos”.

Mother’s day is becoming more popular in China and carnations are the most sold type of flower.
In 1997 it was set as the day to help poor mothers. The Chinese government is quoted as saying
“despite originating in the United States, people in China take the holiday with
no hesitancy because it goes in line with the country’s traditional ethics –
respect to the elderly and filial piety to parents.”

Mother’s day is celebrated in Israel on Shevat 30, which falls anywhere between January 30 & March 1.
It was set to the same day as the birthday of Henrietta Szold.
Henrietta had no biological children, but her organisation, Youth Aliyah, rescued
many Jewish children from Nazi Germany and took care of them.
It is only celebrated by children at kindergartens.

Mother’s Day has become a universal acknowledgement of the significant role
“mothering” has played because of hearts of gold.


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