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Mother's Day In South Africa

The history and origins of Mother's Day

The origins of Mother's Day can be traced back as far as the ancient Greek and Romans.

The Ancients Greeks performed an annual spring festival dedicated to honoring the maternal goddesses. In particular, they honored Rhea, the wife of Cronus, who was the mother of many deities of the Greek mythology.

The Ancient Romans also celebrated a spring festival called Hilaria. This festival was dedicated to the Cybele, a Roman mother goddess. The celebration was marked by offerings presented to the temple of Cybele which lasted for three days, and included parades, games and masquerades.

Early Christians also celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ.

The idea of an official celebration of Mother's Day was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872. Julia, who was an activist, writer and poet suggested that 2 June be annually celebrated as Mother's Day and that the day should be dedicated to peace. Her passionate appeal to woman, the famous Mothers Day Proclamation, urged woman to rise against the war. She also initiated a Mothers' Peace Day observance on the second Sunday in June in Boston, and the meeting was held for many years. Julia's idea spread widely, but was later replaced by the Mother's Day holiday now celebrated in May.

Modern Mother's Day celebrations

Today, Mother's Day is celebrated all over the world. People take the day as an opportunity to pay homage to their mothers and thank them for all their love, caring, and support.

In many countries, Mother's Day sees the phone lines reach maximum traffic, and the tradition of gifting flowers, cards and other gifts still remains.

Mother's Day in South Africa

In South Africa, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. The most commonly used flowers on Mothers Day is the traditional carnation. South African's use Mother's Day to not only thank their mothers, but also grand mothers and other mother figures in their lives.