Two popular days observed
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)
The two popular days celebrated the world over are – ‘Father’s Day’
and ‘Mother’s day’.
Children are taking great pains to remember them on that particular day, and if dead, any Father figure–Mother figure. If alive, they are indulged on that day like little children, with presents, outings etc. Actually,the idea seems to have originated some four thousand years ago, when a young boy called Elmesu carved a clay out of Babylon ruins, and wished his dear father all the best.
Gradually, it seeped into other countries,but caught popularity on 19th of June 1910, when it was first celebrated.
The main driving force behind ‘Father’s day’ was Mrs.Sonara Smart Dodd to honor her late father William Jackson Smart. He was a civil war veteran whose wife died in childbirth; William was left alone to bring up six motherless children! The pathetic situation is narrated by the little daughter thus-‘As the father sat grieving, with the children around, one child pining for its mother suddenly ran out into the cold dark night calling out “Come back mama, come back”. Mother came not, but the father realizing his responsibility, carried him back, and decided to raise them singlehandedly in his rural farm at Washington. He did the job so very well that the eldest born- daughter Sonaa felt it her duty to remember him and all fathers in June of every year since her father had been born in that month. Also, Celebrations of ‘Mother’s Day’ nurtured the idea; President Lyndon Johnson supported it; And so, ‘Father’s day ‘came to be declared a holiday, and celebrated on third Sunday of June of every year, but was officially recognized only in 1972,when President Nixon signed the law making ‘Father’s Day' Permanent. To this day, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the young, who make it a point to pamper fathers, and father figures with intense love. Blessed indeed is the man who hears many voices call him father!
‘Mother’s Day’ celebration goes back to the days of ancient Greece when spring-celebrations took place in honor of Rhea-Mother of Gods. Ancient Germans are also said to have celebrated it and dedicated it the goddess Juno. In old Britain, England celebrated a day called ‘Mothering Sunday’ to honor the mothers of England.
On that day, servants who lived in the house somewhat like bonded laborers, would be given leave to go to their places and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake called ‘Mothering cake’ would be taken by them. Children elsewhere would all also join their mother on that day and celebrate joyously.
Three ladies are credited with the present day observation of ‘Mother’s Day’; They are-‘Julia Ward Howe, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, and Anna Jarvis.
Influenced by Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, and moved by the sorrow of mothers who had lost their sons in the civil war of America, Julia Ward called upon all those women to unite against war. The project was took over by Anna Jarvis, once again influenced by her late mother—Ann Maria Reevesjarvis, and the first ‘Mother’s Day’ was celebrated in May 1908, at Grafton, West Virginia. Spreading from there, the idea appealing to all, President Wilson declared the second Sunday of May to be the ‘Mother’s Day’-as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of all those mothers whose sons had died in wars. Mother being the most important person in a child’s life and mind, true is the South African Saying-‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation, and its destiny’.
To sum up, both "Father’s Day" and "Mother’s Day" are celebrated all over the world, but on different days in some places. What a noble idea! ***