Mother's Day is a celebration of honouring mothers and motherhood and is observed across the world with enthusiasm and verve. The day is celebrated to acknowledge and honour the sacrifices a mother makes during the course of her life to ensure absolute well-being and development of her children. Throughout the world, children exhibit their respect and affection by pampering their mother with gifts, giving flowers, having dinner and spending the whole day with her.
The history of observing a day's celebration in honour of mother dates back to the era of Roman and Greek civilizations. The citizens would worship mother goddess Cybele and Rhea as part of the celebration. In Hindu mythology, the festival of Navratri is observed in which Goddess Durga or Shakti is worshipped for nine days.
In the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, Mothering Sunday is observed exactly three weeks before Easter. Traditionally, people would visit Mother Church and spend the day in service, but with the course of time, people started celebrating the day as Mother's Day. In Islam, no such celebration is mentioned, although the teachings establish that a person should be absolutely devoted to one's mother.
The modern version of Mother's Day was first observed in the United States of America in 1907 as a small service in West Virginia followed by the official celebrations the next year at much larger scale. By 1909, the celebrations caught momentum throughout America and soon became the part of popular culture.
In 1914, US Congress passed a law recognizing second Sunday of May as official Mother's Day. The recognition of Mother's Day as a national holiday in America is attributed to Anna Jarvis, who conceived the idea that a day should be devoted to celebrate and honour the mothers for their contribution in the development of humankind.
Association of international brands also propelled the popularity of the Mother's Day across the globe. Brands instantly grabbed the opportunity by launching elaborated campaigns, giving discounts and introducing special products for the day, thus making Mother's Day a special event of the year.
In India, the Mother's Day celebrations are restricted to urban and metropolis centres but are fast catching up in tier 3 and 4 cities as well.
From past few years, India is experiencing a lot of internal migration as students and working professionals are leaving their homes for better opportunities in Metros and other states. Staying away from home and parents is something new to Indian middle-class families which are traditionally known to live together for generations. The distance from family especially mothers generates emotional emptiness in the lives of most middle-class youths and thus they readily grab the opportunity to bond with their mothers. The enthusiastic acceptance of Mother's Day also holds relevance in the eagerness of becoming part of global culture particularly western.
Furthermore, the advent of social media and increasing participation of Indians on various social and economic platforms also propelled the observance of western celebrations in India. With more and more Indians marking their online presence, they become more acquainted and aware of global phenomena. The urge to become part of the global community is one of the reasons behind the increasing popularity of events such as Mother's Day.
On this day, children present gifts such as Sari, jewellery, and books or other items, and flowers to their mothers; take her out for dinner or make lunch and dinner at home to relieve her from the kitchen duties for the day. Making phone calls and visiting her are also important and integral parts of the celebrations. A short family picnic or excursion or going to watch movies are also getting a common part of the day.
In a nutshell, the whole idea behind establishing Mother's Day celebration was to provide an opportunity for children to bond with their mother, recognize her struggles and efforts, express their love and tell her how much she means to them.