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Friday, December 30, 2011

Traditions for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is celebrated in many different countries, and not all of them celebrate it on the same date nor in the same manner. Norway observes Mother's Day on the second Sunday in February, and in Argentina, it's the second Sunday in October. Lebanon celebrates Mother's Day on the first day of spring, and in South Africa, it's the first Sunday in May.

In parts of Yugoslavia where the Serbian people live, Mother's Day is called "Materice", and it is observed two weeks before Christmas. On "Materice" boys and girls tiptoe into their mother's bedroom very early in the morning and tie her up. When she awakens, she is surprised to find herself all tied up, and she begs the children to untie her, promising to give them little gifts which she has hidden under her pillow.

In India, the Hindu people celebrate a ten-day festival called Durga Puja early in October. It is to honor Durga, the Divine Mother. Durga is the most important of all Hindu goddesses in India. She is supposed to be very tall and to have ten arms. In each arm she carries a weapon to destroy evil.

In both Spain and Portugal, Mother's Day is closely linked to the church. The eighth of December is the day that tribute is paid to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. It is also the day when children honor their mothers.

Mother's Day in France is celebrated much like a family birthday, and it occurs on the last Sunday in May. The entire extended family gathers around the family dining table for dinner, and at the end of the meal a beautiful cake is presented to the mother.

Sweden also has a family holiday on the last Sunday in May. Shortly before Mother's Day the Swedish Red Cross sells tiny plastic flowers. The money from these "Mother's Flowers" is used to give vacations to mothers with many children.

In Japan, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May as it is in North America. An exhibit of pictures drawn by children between the ages of six and fourteen, called "My Mother" are entered into a "traveling exhibit." This exhibit is held every four years, and it travels to many different countries. By looking at the pictures, boys and girls learn how children live in other parts of the world.

From the largest countries to the smallest, people almost everywhere celebrate Mother's Day. The days and the ways may be different, yet the idea is still the same - to honor mother in some special way.

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