As we go about in life, preoccupied with everything and running madly to meet deadlines, we often fail to acknowledge those who are important to us. Though not mostly deliberate, we do falter to acknowledge those who are dearest to us, chief among them being our parents. Much like life itself, we tend to take them and the hardships they undergo for us, for granted. Perhaps this is why it is fitting and imperative even to take out days from the calendar and spend them celebrating and acknowledging the things they have done for us, and keep on doing. Both fathers and mothers have individual days dedicated to them.
Many countries observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday in the month of June. The day intends to recognise the struggle and contributions of fathers and the difference they make to the lives of the children. This year it falls on June 18.
Though the idea originated in the US, there have been conflicts about its exact origin. Many believe it was Washington resident Sonora Dodd’s idea. Apparently after hearing a Mother’s Day sermon in 1910, Dodd who was raised by her father as a single parent started a campaign to have a similar day for fathers. The first such “Father’s Day” was held in Spokane in 1910, and later different towns and cities across America following suit.
Some also opine that Grace Golden Clayon from Fairmount, West Virginia, is the one responsible for the introducing the concept of Father’s Day. It is believed that it was she who had suggested the idea to celebrate fatherhood in 1908.
Much like Father’s Day, mothers too have a day dedicated to them. Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in the month of May. The practice, however, was first adopted by the US. It is believed that in 1905, Anna Jarvis for the first time held a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognised holiday in the United States after her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died on the same year.
The day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. The church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.
However, the day is also associated with older traditions. In United Kingdom and Ireland, it is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in the month of March in order to keep alive the memory of Mother Church, not motherhood on Christian Mothering Sunday. In Greece, honouring and celebrating motherhood has been linked to the Eastern Orthodox celebration of the presentation of Jesus Christ to the temple. According to the Julian calendar, the day is marked February 2. In most Arab countries, the celebrations of Mother’s Day are carried out on March 21, which is the Spring equinox.