Mother’s Day is a practically international celebration, but each country celebrates it on different days.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in much of the world, but on different dates for each country.
What has been established as a consensus is that the day serves to pay tribute to motherhood, not so much as a fundamental factor for the construction of the family, but rather as a symbolic process historically associated with love, effort, to understanding and tenderness.
Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day does not originate in contemporary times.
In fact, ancient civilizations already worshiped the figure of the mother.
For example, in Ancient Greece, Rhea was not only the goddess of fertility and motherhood, but was considered the mother of humanity for having given birth to Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus. That is why, every year at the beginning of spring, the Greeks celebrated a festival to venerate this deity.
Likewise, in Rome similar rituals were performed to honor Cybele, goddess of the earth, and in Egypt Isis, the Great Mother Goddess, was honored.
Later, Christianity concentrated all this symbolism in a single figure: the Virgin Mary, whose day is December 8, officially called the Day of the Immaculate Conception.
Thus, in countries with a Christian tradition, this was the day on which mothers were praised and it remained so until well into the 20th century.
Spain and the tribute to the Mothers.
The custom of celebrating Mother’s Day on the same date as the Day of the Immaculate Conception was rooted in Spain for centuries.
However, in 1925, a Post Office official named Julio Menéndez García proposed an initiative that was immediately disseminated by all the national newspapers: the need for an exclusive day dedicated to “extol the love of the Mother.”
This is how he wrote it in his poem Mother’s Anthem.
The initiative was framed in a project called Kindness Week, which would be celebrated the first week of October 1926 and which would reserve a special day for children to give bouquets of flowers to their mothers.
This was the first official Mother’s Day in Spain, although not the final one.
The following year, an article in the Nuevo Mundo newspaper proposed sticking to the US date, which was already taking hold in other countries.
This is how progressively some cities, such as Zaragoza or Malaga, began to celebrate Mother’s Day in May, unofficially.
The penultimate change came with the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who returned the homage to its Christian date: December 8.
However, due to the commercial interests that were related to the celebration, in 1965 the first Sunday of May was officially and definitively established as Mother’s Day in Spain.
United States and the origin of modern Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day as we know it today has its origins in 1865, in the setting of a country just out of the Civil War.
Activist Ann Maria Reeves began organizing meetings of mothers, called Mother’s Day Meetings, to share opinions and experiences together.
It was there that one of the leaders of the feminist movement, Julia Ward Howe, also began to develop as an activist and writer.
In 1870, as a peaceful response to the tragedies experienced during the war, and to sympathize with the victims of the Franco-Prussian War, Ward Howe called on the women of the world to unite to promote peace in the world, through his poem titled Mother’s Day Proclamation.
“We women of one country will have too much compassion for those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to hurt theirs.” Julia Ward Howe.
In 1907, coinciding with the death of the mother of a member of the Meetings, the women’s movement asked the government to convert May 12 – the second Sunday of the month – into a day dedicated to the mothers of the world.
Thus, Mother’s Day became official in 1914, under the mandate of President Woodrow Wilson, and it is the one that is still maintained in the United States and in other countries that joined the celebration, such as Colombia and Venezuela.
Mexico and the Monument to the Mother.
The date chosen by Mexicans to honor mothers, May 10, was accepted from the start.
In April 1922, the founder of the newspaper Excelsior, Rafael Alducin, published on the front page: “Mother’s Day will be celebrated this year in almost the entire republic” and assured that other associations, newspapers and state institutions had already adhered to the initiative.
And indeed, Mother’s Day in Mexico has been celebrated on May 10 from that year to the present.
Also, that day in 1944, President Manuel Ávila Camacho laid the first stone of what would become the Monument to the Mother, a sculpture that represents a woman with her son in her arms and is located in Mexico City.
This construction is accompanied by two plaques on which you can read: “To the one who loved us before we met” and “Because her maternity was voluntary.”