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Celebrating Mothers Spans History and Cultures

Mother’s Day is so much more than brunch with the family and flower corsages. It’s a celebration of women and all of their contributions. It’s generations of family coming together and being recognized by husbands, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. It’s celebrating the grandmothers and aunts who also play mothering roles. 

The custom’s earliest beginnings date to centuries ago, when Mothering Sunday took place in Great Britain. Mothering Sunday celebrated the return of parishioners who had moved away from their hometowns. According to Britannica.com, Mothering Sunday, first known as Laetare Sunday, took place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. The date featured the relaxation of some Lenten strictness, including the consumption of rich fruit cakes. 

The modern idea of Mother’s Day began in the United States in 1907 when a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother, who had been an organizer of women’s groups that promoted friendship and health. Anna, a literary and advertising editor, planned a memorial service for her mom at a church in Grafton, W.Va. The tradition took off from there, including wearing a pink or red carnation to honor a living mother while wearing a white carnation to honors a deceased one. (Interestingly, by the time of her death, Anna had become disenchanted with the commercialization of the Mother’s Day holiday.)

Monarch Landing celebrates all of the many mothers, grandmothers, and aunts who live and work in our community and make it a wonderful place. Residents are encouraged to post a photo for this year’s Mother’s Day photo display and to attend a special Mother’s Day brunch at Millstone Restaurant. The Downtown Naperville Alliance publishes a list of the Mother’s Day specials available for lunch or dinner also.

The tradition of honoring mothers varies by country and nationality. In India, Hindus honor Durga, the goddess of mothers, during a 10-day festival in October. Families spend weeks before the festival preparing for reunions, decorating their homes, and gathering gifts. Scholastic.com highlights the Antrosht Festival in Ethiopia, which is observed at the end of each rainy season. Sons and daughters take on the duties of food preparation, the daughters bringing vegetables and the sons providing meat. 

Honoring our mothers is engrained in all of us. It’s a time-honored tradition that crosses boundaries and brings everyone together. This Mother’s Day is a moment to celebrate so 

many women who’ve given their lives to family, career, and community.