Pagan holidays have evolved into many of our Hallmark holidays today. Saturnalia became Christmas; All Hallow’s Eve became Halloween and even our celebration of that most important woman in our lives originated in ancient festivals as well. Mother’s Day is this May 13th and the modern holiday of brunches and bouquets is one with quite a history.
In ancient Greece, the traditional holiday of Mother’s Day started out as a non-traditional feast for Cybele, an exotic, mysterious goddess who arrives at parties in a lion-drawn chariot accompanied by wild music and wine. And while most of our mothers don’t make quite the entrance she did, Cybele was known as Magna Mater, “Great Mother.”
In ancient Rome, the festivities were centered on a celebration for the vernal equinox also honoring Cybele whom they considered the “mother” of all gods. It coincided with the first day of the year that was longer than night meaning that winter gloom was gone and mother earth was brighter each day. Their honoring of Cybele, though, was a solemn one with a statue of the goddess carried in a long procession complete with richly goods and precious works of art.
With the introduction of Christianity, the celebration to honor Moms became a part of the church calendar during Lent with the intent to honor the Virgin Mary and the “mother church.” People would go “a-mothering” and visit their home church and family on what was then the only real holiday for the working class. Children would pick wildflowers along the way home and gift them to their mothers and eventually this tradition became Mothering Sunday and included a tradition of gift-giving that we carry on to this day.
From a religious holiday grew a commercial holiday (no surprise there).
In the United States, Mothering Sunday was revived by Anna Jarvis [put this before the UK] who founded the Mother’s Day Work Club in five cities to improve sanitary and health conditions. After her own mother passed, Jarvis began a nationwide campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday by the government. Jarvis’ revival of Mothering Sunday caught on strongly in the 1920’s in the United Kingdom thanks in large part to the deployment of so many American soldiers during WWI and the eagerness of shopkeepers to market their wares. The holiday of Mother’s Day was promoted with zeal by the church and merchants alike.
While Jarvis herself became embittered by the commercialization of Mother’s Day, there is nothing kinder in my mind than a reason to buy your mother a gift to thank her for her kindness and sternness and patience and love.
Since it started off a celebration of a goddess, treat your mom like a goddess by indulging her with the gift of amazingly soft bamboo clothes or bamboo sheets! Fresh new styles have arrived spring while bedding is available in a variety of colors and patterns sure to fit any mother’s décor.
Green Earth Bamboo is happy to help you pamper your mother with an incredible Mother’s Day Sale! Between May 7th – 13th, receive $15 off any $100 order and free shipping on orders over $200! Use Coupon Code MOTHER12 at checkout.
Happy Mother’s Day!