Mother’s Day celebrations have gained momentum, especially in urban India, and it is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May every year with much fanfare. In India Mothers have always been put in a high pedestal.


It has always been imbibed in children that their Mother is Goddess personified in their life.

Traditionally, in the Hindu culture, mothers have been paid homage during the worship of Goddesses in different forms. However, modern day celebrations of Mother’s Day have nothing to do with religious rituals.

However, the day is looked up upon to reflect on a Mother’s (or a mother figure’s) contribution to a child’s life, and the influence of Mothers in shaping the society. Mother’s Day in India is a private celebration whereby an attempt is made to strengthen the familial bonding.

Background of Mother’s Day:

The celebration of Mother’s Day was initiated in the Unites States of America in a period that is estimated to be in the early 20th Century. It is believed that Mother’s Day in its modern form was first celebrated in 1908. In Grafton, Virginia, a lady named Anna Jarvis organized for a memorial for her mother. She then started to campaign to make Mother’s Day an established holiday in the United States. Finally in 1914 Jarvis was finally successful in having Mother’s Day as a fully recognized holiday. Soon it became popular in other countries as well, and more and more people began to celebrate Mother’s Day in all parts of the world. The commercial companies were fast to pick up the trend and act upon it luring people with products crafted especially for the occasion.

By 1920 the event became so commercialized that Jarvis expressed her disappointment about it. Meanwhile, in 1912 Jarvis formed the Mother’s Day International Association and put a trademark on the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”. Finally U.S. President Woodrow Wilson passed the law by which Mother’s Day was declared to be an official holiday in the United States. However, if we trace history we shall find that celebrations to honor mother or motherhood existed even in the ancient times. However, Jarvis claimed that those did not influence her to draft the modern day customs related to Mother’s Day. As this holiday began to get popular many other countries and cultures adopted it, some changing it a little to fit their ideas, heritage history or ideologies. In United Kingdom, for example, Mothering Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Mother's Day in India

Mother’s Day in India

 

In Indonesia they celebrate it in December on the date when the Indonesian Women’s Congress was formed. In Iran, the day is celebrated on the 20th day of the sixth Islamic month in accordance to the lunar Hijri calendar for it is believed to be the birth anniversary of Fatimah, the Prophet’s only daughter. Countries that formerly adhered to Communist principles thought the present day form of Mother’s Day to be capitalist in Nature. As such in countries like Russia, Kyrgyzstan or Ukraine the International Women’s Day is treated with more reverence for they think this day to be of a socialist nature. Such examples are many. But in India the traditions have come in sync with the American custom.

Date of Mother’s Day in the Next Five Years:

  • In 2014, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 11.
  • In 2015, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 10.
  • In 2016, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 8.
  • In 2017, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 14.
  • In 2018, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 13.

Public life on Mother’s Day in India:

Although the celebrations of Mother’s Day have caught up with people in India, there is no change in public life in India. All retails and businesses are open on this day. Public transportation system operates normally on this day. The only hitch that a person may face is a high waiting time in certain places like restaurants, theatres etc.

Celebrations in India:

The relevance of Mother’s Day in India has picked up with the changing times because today people have spread far and wide all across the globe in search for prosperity, either for higher education or for professional requirements. As such, not all children live with their mother under the same roof all the year, which is a sharp contrast to the social system prevalent in India in the earlier times where a joint family was the norm. Because of this swing in the social system, the importance of this day has increased manifold. Now even amidst the hustle and bustle of busy life people try to connect with their mother or someone whom they consider to be a mother figure in their life on the Mother’s Day, and make the special lady feel even more special, and at times even pampered. It is a tribute to all the pains and hardships that a mother goes through to give a bright and happy life to her child. All these being said it has also to be accepted that Mother’s Day celebrations are more common in the cities than in the parts of the country that are in the interiors.

Media and the market present before people a plethora of different gift ideas ranging from something as simple yet timeless as a greeting card together with a bouquet of flowers to something as exotic as a vacation package or as expensive as a precious piece of jewelry. Many companies choose to launch some of their ladies’ products during this time. Restaurants and spa-salons see a meteoric rise in footfall, so do retailers and shopping malls, and even multiplex theatres. Apart from all these personal pampering, there are also some seminars and programs arranged during this time which highlight upon the social or medical wellbeing of women in general or mothers in particular. In a nutshell, it is one day of the year when mothers feel really special and pampered.