Mum’s the Word
Not that you need any excuse to put mum on a pedestal for a day but do you know how Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday actually originated? Back in the 16th century not only did children have to work, they had to work on a Sunday but on the fourth Sunday of Lent they were allowed a day off to return home for a special service at their Mother church. Many children brought their mum small tokens like flowers or Simnel cake and, gradually, the tradition took a more secular overtone as a general celebration of motherhood.
Going for Gold
In other parts of the world, mothers were applauded for producing large families to boost the motherland, especially in times of war. Both Germany and France instigated Fête des mères and Muttertag to reward mothers of large families, even doling out medals for high achievers. Nowadays these festivals has fortunately shed their “top breeder” overtones and evolved into a dedicated day for spoiling mum.
A lovely bunch of flowers always hits the spot on Mother’s Day. In Australia the chrysanthemum is the most popular choice for Mother’s Day being in full season and even ending in the word “mum”. In Japan, Mother’s Day or ha no hi, is celebrated by the gifting of roses and carnations. Roses symbolise love, honour, faith, devotion and beauty. Alternatively, carnations, most popularly the red or pink variety, symbolise purity, sweetness and endurance.
In most cultures, turning up with the last, sad bunch of flowers from the local Esso garage is not getting brownie points.
In Serbia there is a series of three national holidays falling on the three Sundays preceding Christmas – Children’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. On their special day, it was traditional for mum, dad or the kids to be tied up and not untied until they agreed to behave or supply little gifts for the family. However, this quaint old tradition is disappearing, maybe because most mums prefer a nice box of choccies over a bit of light bondage?
Don’t Just Make the Effort Once a Year
On Mum’s Day it’s lovely to do the big gesture thing but remember folks, you can probably do a little something every day to show mum you’re not taking her for granted. A please or thank you, picking your dirty socks up, taking the bins out or less of the lip.
If you’re looking for something a bit different for the matriarch in your life, check out our T Shirt, Hoodie and Mug range celebrating the woman who grew you, carried you and then pushed you through a painfully small orifice.