This coming Sunday, 12 May 2019, is Mother’s Day in Australia. Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and commemorate mothers everywhere. It is a time to thank mum for always being there.
By Jeremy Ryland
Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for the restaurant industry, as families take their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other special people out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner to celebrate and show them that they are appreciated.
Mothering Sunday, or Mother’s Day, has been celebrated for centuries. Mother’s Day can be traced back to ancient Greece, to the celebrations in honour of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. The Ancient Romans had a three-day feast to celebrate Cybele, a mother goddess, whilst Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in England since the 1600’s.
England's "Mothering Sunday" is similar to Mother's Day and is also called Mid-Lent Sunday. Mothering Sunday, like a lot of festivals, began with a religious intent, in the UK and Ireland is held on the fourth Sunday in Lent (31 March this year). As a Christian religious festival, it is described as a day to honour and give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary. Some say the ancient ceremonies in honour of Cybele were adopted by the early church to venerate the Mother of Christ. Others believe the Mother Church was substituted for mother goddess. The custom began to dictate that a person should visit the church of his/her baptism on this day, which often meant they could visit their mothers as well. This was also a time when servants and workers were given the day off and encouraged to return home in order to spend time with their mother’s and bring them small gifts.
Mothering Sunday was also referred to as “Refreshment Sunday”, due to the fact that it was in the middle of Lent and the Lenten fast could be relaxed for the day so people could enjoy a family meal together. Similar to today, Mothering Sunday was all about spoiling mum and making her feel special and appreciated. Mothering Cake, a rich Simnel fruit cake made with almond paste and decorated with 11 balls of marzipan – one for each disciple, excluding Judas - was often made to add a festive touch. Sometimes frumenty (wheat grains boiled in sweet milk, sugared and spiced) was served, whilst in northern England and in Scotland, the preferred refreshments were carlings - pancakes made of steeped carlin peas fried in butter, with pepper and salt. In fact, in some locations Mother’s Day is celebrated on Carling Sunday.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries of the world as a celebration of life and nurturing, although it is celebrated at different times throughout the world. Australia follows the USA and celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. The modern celebration was pioneered in the USA by Anna Jarvis as a memorial to working women. In 1914, it was declared as a National Day to honour mothers whose sons had died in war.
Some people complain that Mother's Day is too commercialized. Indeed, Anna Jarvis herself, called it “Hallmark Holiday” and regretted what the day had become, saying "this is not what I intended, I want it to be a day of sentiment not profit!"
However, many more people are grateful for the chance to express their warm and genuine feelings of love and appreciation to their mothers. Mother's Day remains a popular holiday, making it one of the biggest days for sales of flowers and cards, and one of the busiest days for restaurants.
The symbol of Mother’s Day in many countries, is the carnation, whilst in Australia it is usually the chrysanthemum flower, representing the sweetness, purity and endurance of mother love.Make Mother’s Day, Sunday 12 May, a special day and let your mum know how much you appreciate her – better still, tell mum that you love her everyday!