Should Mother’s Day be banned?
Mother’s Day is, traditionally, a day celebrated as a token of respect for all mothers. The roots of this festival go very deep. It is believed that the current rituals originated in the cult of the ancient mother-goddess. She was a symbol of fertility.
Nowadays, this feast seems to have lost its sacred dimension and is rather recognized as a special day when the memory of mothers is celebrated.
Mother’s Day around the world differs not only in the date, but also in the way of celebration.
In a dozen or so European and Asian countries Mother’s Day is celebrated on 8th March, in a great deal of Muslim countries on 21st March, in the UK and Ireland it is on the 4th Sunday of Lent, whereas most of countries have chosen the 2nd Sunday of May as a date of this feast. In Poland, it is celebrated on 26th May.
How is Mother’s Day celebrated?
The most common way of commemorating mothers is offering them small gifts. Flowers, sweets, cosmetics are the most common items.
However, some countries have decided to celebrate it in more spectacular and idiosyncratic ways.
The most flamboyant Mother’s Day festival is in Thailand. On 12th March not only mothers are commemorated, but it is also the celebration of a birthday of a monarch - queen Sirikit.
The streets and houses are decorated with flags, lights, flowers, and cavalcades are on the streets. It is all subsequently finished with a breathtaking fireworks show.
In Mexico, Mother’s Day is one of the most important holidays. It starts with an official holy mass in the name of Mother Mary, who is a role model of a perfect mother. Next, women are given flowers. Yet these are not ordinary bouquets. Usually they are so expensive that the money collection starts even a few months before 10th May.
In South Africa, mothers are given dianthuses. On 2nd Sunday of May, not only the smallest, but also grown-up children, wear red and pink clothes to honor their mothers. This color is reserved for the children of the living mothers. Those who have lost their mothers wear white.
In Peru, Mother’s Day celebrations take place at cemeteries. Whole families gather there to commemorate mothers who are already gone.
Mother’s Day controversy
It would seem that such a nice festival does not bother anyone and does not bring any harm. Well, it turned out quite the opposite. Lately, there was a huge debate in some countries about the righteousness of celebrating Mother’s Day.
In 2018, one of British market chains made special Mother’s Day cards. Waitrose decided to extend the list of wishes receivers and, using the opportunity, to avoid the “problematic” word such as “mother”. Thus, the printed cards said „Happy You Day”, as a replacement of the previous „Happy Mother’s Day”.
Following Waitrose, another chain – Scribbler, decided to address the cards to transsexuals and homosexual couples. It introduced the Mother’s Day cards that said „Two moms are better than one” or „Thank you for being a wonderful Mom, Dad!”.
It does not end there. Some institutions actually banned Mother’s Day celebrations.
In one of elementary schools in Carmarthen, west Wales, it was forbidden to prepare cards for Mother’s Day during school time. This was a break off from the preexisting tradition. Many parents did not approve that idea. The headmaster said his decision was based on the fact that some students do not have mothers and celebrating Mother’s Day at school is an overwhelming trauma for them.
In 2017, a school in Mission, Canada, undertook more radical steps. A letter to the parents was issued, cancelling the yearly Mother’s Day festival in order to respect the feelings of homosexual parents and their children.
This was not the first such case in Canada. In 2013, another school banned both Father’s and Mother’s Day, replacing it with Family Day. The argument was, again, respect for diversity.
The opponents of Mother’s Day celebrations have different motives. The respect for the non-traditional families seems to be the most viral reason recently. On the other hand, there are some who say that devoting only one day in a whole year to a mother is offensive to her. The respect for a mother should be shown for the whole life. Others claim that Mother’s Day is just marketing fuel. The beneficiaries of this day are not mothers, but sellers.
What do you think? Should we celebrate Mother’s Day?