A day to show mum you care
TOMORROW is Mother's Day, a day in our nation's calendar put aside to reflect on and celebrate our mothers' role in raising children and originally conceived as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families.
In Australia, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
According to my research, the tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother's Day in Australia was started by Janet Heyden, a resident of Leichhardt, Sydney, in 1924.
She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers.
To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women.
Every year thereafter, Mrs Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the mayor.
The day has since become commercialised.
Traditionally, the chrysanthemum is given to mothers for Mother's Day as the flower is naturally in season during May and ends in "mum", a common affectionate shortening of the word "mother" in Australia.
Once Mother's Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its potential.
Today Mother's Day, as with all the other special days, has become very commercialised through advertising.
Interestingly, while 168 countries celebrate Mother's Day as an established tradition, just over half of those countries (51%, Australia included) celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.
Other countries have adapted an alternate date linked to women through historical significance or religious significance. Apparently more phone calls are made on Mother's Day than any other day of the year.
Many families spend this day in the great outdoors, weather permitting, with family barbecues or picnics in parks and at the beach. Restaurants are usually packed as families take Mum to lunch and florists are run off their feet.
Flowers, chocolates, and cards are popular gifts to symbolize one's love and appreciation for their mother or mother figure. Many children whilst at school or kindergarten create cards to give to mum on the day as part of the school curriculum.
The important thing though, regardless of how you intend to celebrate your mum's special day is not to forget to let her know how much you appreciate her and her sacrifices she has made for you.
I read an old Irish proverb which basically says: "A man (meaning human) loves his sweetheart the most, his wife (include husband) the best, but his mother the longest".
Enjoy your celebrations this Mother's Day.