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Make the most of Mother's Day

By Hilary Bainemigisha

Added 12th May 2018 08:31 AM

Originally, it was a religious festival in the UK known as Mothering Sunday.

Make the most of Mother's Day

Originally, it was a religious festival in the UK known as Mothering Sunday.

Vicky Kagona hugs her mother Florence Kagona

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in Uganda. It will be a special day to honour and celebrate our mothers, living and dead, motherhood, maternal bonds, as well as other influential motherlike figures in our lives.

The celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses Rhea, Hilaria and Cybele. But in modern times, Mother's Day got rooted in the early Christian festival known as "Mothering Sunday."

Uganda's Mother's Day celebration was copied from the colonial masters, the British, whose celebration was also copied from the Americans.

Originally, it was a religious festival in the UK known as Mothering Sunday.

It evolved from the 16th-century Christian practice of visiting one's mother church annually on last Sunday of Lent. That way, most mothers were reunited with their children because even women in service were released by their masters for that weekend.

Meanwhile, in the US, Mother's Day evolved differently, first as an isolated celebration by Anna Jarvis in 1908, when she held a memorial for her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. But her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognised holiday in the US began in 1905, the year her mother, died.

She had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.

In 1908, the US Congress first rejected her proposal joking that even mothers-in-law would ask for their day. However, they later proclaimed it and, thanks to Jarvis efforts, by 1911 all US states were observing the holiday.

In 1914, US President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honour mothers.

As a result of the US influence, Mothering Sunday in UK was transformed into the tradition of showing appreciation to one's mother.

In 1914, the holiday was still recognised in the original historical sense of religious recognition with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus Christ and the concept of the Mother Church.

After World War I, Mothering Day customs declined and by World War II, US soldiers brought the American model of Mother's Day to the UK.

From then on, the UK adopted Mother's Day as a celebration of motherhood and popularised it throughout the commonwealth, including Uganda

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