9 Mar 2010

NOT JUST MOTHER'S DAY.

Its been a tiring few days. I actually started this post a while ago as, things being what they are, it takes me a few days to research, not to mention type (and correct), these longer posts. Anyway planning to schedule it for Sunday, I pressed the wrong button (doh!!!!) and so we have it now. Oh well just imagine it's Sunday.

Yes, it's the fourth Sunday in LENT which means that here in the UK we'll be celebrating Mothering Sunday by giving our mam's breakfast in bed, sending them cards/chocolates/flowers etc. All very nice but does it really take this one day in order for us to remind our mams just how much we love and appreciate them? Yes, it would seem so and don't all of those card manufacturers know it. I mean to say not content with us sending a card to our mothers, there are now a range of cards available for every other woman in our lives - Happy Mother's Day To My .... wife/aunty/grandmother/sister-in-law and so on. For goodness sake, a friend even received a card "Happy Mother's Day, with love from your dog". Not that I'm against the day itself, far from it, I'm just against the over commercialisation of a day that, after all, started out as a RELIGIOUS 'HOLIDAY'.
And talking of religious holidays/celebrations, March seems to be awash with them, with, not just one Saints Day, BUT two. Yes, DAVID, patron saint of Wales had his 'day' earlier in the month and now it's the turn of SAINT PATRICK of Ireland.
Born in either Scotland or Wales, Patrick was taken to Ireland as a slave only to escape six years later when, after much studying, he went on to become not only a Priest but a Bishop. Today St. Patrick's Day is celebrated not just in Ireland but in many other countries (England, Germany, America) which have large Irish communities. Special masses are said and there are many community based activities often involving parades, the wearing of the Irish emblem, the SHAMROCK , and the drinking of green beer (yes you read correctly, green beer) though these are generally only laid on for the tourists.
Not just a month for Christian celebrations though, today (read that as Sunday) also sees Sikh's the world over celebrate VAISAKHI which commemorates not only New Year but also 1699, the year Sikhism was 'born' as a collective faith. A celebration of many parades with much dancing and singing, many choose to be baptised into the faith on this day.
Then on the 21st many Pagans will celebrate the festival of Ostara (look familiar? Ostara/EASTER?) more commonly known as the SPRING EQUINOX which sees the renewed life of the Earth.
A solar festival (as is the Autumn Equinox), Ostara is celebrated when the length of day and night are equal with some Pagans choosing to carrying out symbolic rituals involving the courtship of the Spring Goddess and God though traditional pastimes such as the painting/rolling/hunting for eggs are also popular.
Which brings us to the 28th when there is yet another event in the Christian Calender. Part of 'Holy Week', PALM SUNDAY commemorates the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem.
With special services being held in churches, many will participate in processions involving the carrying of large palm branches though certainly in Anglican churches here in the UK it is much more common for the congregation to be given a small palm leaf cross.
And so we come to the end of what seems like an extremely exhausting month and the Jewish faith's FEAST OF PASSOVER which commemorates the liberation of the Children Of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.
Celebrated since 1300 BC, Passover takes place over 7 to 8 days depending on where in the world you live. Preparations before hand involve the thorough cleaning of the house from top to bottom whilst the Passover Meal itself sees the food, all of which symbolises something, being eaten in a certain order.
Though, as many of you already know, I'm not overly religious I do find the beliefs of others fascinating. Thinking about it, it's amazing just how many different elements show up time and time again in these celebrations with food and drink playing a huge part in many of them. Call me naive but wouldn't it be nice if, instead of war, all our 'differences' could be sorted out over a cup of tea and slice of cake?

23 comments:

Kissed by an Angel said...

This is a busy time, eh? I agree about Mothering Sunday, I can understand a card for someone who is not your mother but has acted like one! But a card for all and sundry - nah!!!
I don't celebrate St Patricks Day as we have no Irish in our family, but I get annoyed over certain places - not Ireland who have people with Irish decendents, who have never even been to Ireland, are not Irish, who make a lot of fuss over it!! That's it - rant over!!!
xxxx

Vivienne said...

Mothering Sunday is the biggest con going. I get frustrated with this day, Fathers Day and Valentines Day. It is all an excuse to spend lots of money on overpriced cards which will end up in the bin. Though after saying that,I shall be taken out for lunch on Sunday!

GMR said...

I'm with you on the sorting out bit...seriously, it would be much nicer if we could just accept our differences, or at the very least discuss them instead of saying WE'RE RIGHT, YOU'RE WRONG, GO AWAY....cie la vie, if only it were that simple.
The influx of holidays this time of year is similiar to December's craziness....although state-side, Mother's Day is not until MAY...we do celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Palm Sunday, etc. It is interesting to take a look at the other religious (and non) calendars out there...thanks for sharing!

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

We in the US have to wait until May for our Mother's Day! But being a proud Irish decedent, I love March for all the St. Patrick-ness of it all! I'm a Galligar and I'm proud of it! Wink!

Thanks for checking on me, my friend! I've been battling with a hormonal teenage son, and it has been very stressful! But I'm back at the reading and 'riting!

Hugs to you!!

Kelly said...

Wow! Lots of info here!

I'm glad to know the difference now between your Mother's Day and ours in the US. Personally, I don't like ours.

I do enjoy St. Patrick's Day! I have family lines going back to Ireland (as well as Wales, Scotland and England) and enjoy acknowledging the day.

Thanks for doing all this research for us!

Smileyfreak said...

Mothers day is not until the coming Sunday here in Ireland! :) I never realised the difference in dates!
I totally agree with you,I hate to see days like Mothers Day being completely commercialisd like Mother's Day has been.I do enjoy dedicating a particular day to my Mom though! :)

kathryn said...

Oh, wouldn't that be just lovely? Working out the world's differences over a nice herbal tea and something sweet....ah, we can dream.

I do believe that here in the US, Mother's Day (May), there are more phone calls made than at any other day of the year. I'm sure the card industry is up there as well...

Jennifer McLean said...

Tracy,
I love this post! March is such a busy month for celebration. How do we have time for war?? You could certainly win me over with tea & cake, especially if it's chocolate. (too bad they don't make chocolate tea).
Thanks so much for the compliment on the bookmarks, if you send me your address I'll send you the one in the middle. (I like the bookmarks with bubbles too!) Just think of it as a St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Vaisakhi, Ostara, David's Day, Palm Sunday, Passover and all-round "make Tracy happy" kind of present. :o)
My email is jaemac@shaw.ca
Hugs to you,
(Hope you're feeling right as rain!)
~Jenn

Aine Butler-Smith said...

It is a busy time, I'll be celebrating the coming of spring, the season of my birth (May) and my favorite time of year. Yes, it would be lovely to settle things over tea, I'll have mine with a bit of cream. What kind of cake are we having?

I have decided to continue the conversation on feminism at my blog for my inspiring women posts on Wednesday. Give your blog a mention and I hope you appreciate the expansion on the subject. I appreciate your courage in sparking the conversation. It gets lively!

Aine

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I totally agree? Who wants bloodshed when they're serving cake anyway?

March does seem exhausting though. I'm actually quite envious of your amazing knowledge-all I knew about Saint Patrick's Day before now was that if you didn't wear green, a little green man would come and pinch you at night. When taught these things as kids, we tend to obey these laws and fear little green men.

Thanks for sharing!

Valerie said...

I like reading your holidays posts -- I know it is a lot of work to put in! I didn't realize (but should have)that you have your own version of Mother's Day.

My mom's birthday is always around the same time as Mother's Day (in May), so it has always been a challenge to come up with two gifts or a decent combo gift.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Lots of great holidays!

Well, Happy Mothers Day!

I am looking forward to St. Patricks Day. I love celebrating that holiday, and yeah I drink the green beer (as a bonus) because it drives others nuts looking at it. lol. Have a great week!

Traci said...

First off, a happy mother's day to all the lovely mums in the UK. We don't celebrate ours until May. I absolutely agree, however, that our moms are worthy of a shout-out on any day of the year (but then how would Hallmark pay its bills?)

Secondly, as an American mutt of various descent including but not limited to Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, I can tell you that we do celebrate St. Patrick's day but rarely is there anything saintly or religious about it. Truthfully, it is more of a bacchanalian event but replacing wine with cheap beer laden with green food coloring. It has almost become a second Mardi Gras especially in cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago that have large Irish-American communities. What I can say, we love an excuse to party! (it's nice to be reminded that the day represents more than green beer, however! LOL)
:-)
Traci

Martha said...

Yes, a cuppa and a slice of cake sound like perfect diplomacy.
Send my best, Petty Wit, hope you are doing better every day.

tattytiara said...

My mother had trouble remembering my birthday, never mind commercial holidays, so there was never much pressure about mother's day in our house. If someone happened to remember, though, it always took her by genuine surprise, so that was nice!

I think all major decisions should be made with dessert, absolutely!

Trac~ said...

WOW - sounds like you have a very busy few weeks coming up! Thanks for stopping by to say hello again - I hope you feel better now! Have a good day! :o)

....Petty Witter said...

Well it sounds like we are going to have a great tea party.

Of course there'll be chocolate cake JENNIFER and many thanks for your kindness and for thinking of me.

Like you VALERIE, ma-in-law's birthday is always very close to Mother's Day, the day after this year (groan).

Ive never heard that story before ODDY but I like it.

chitra said...

I too believe if everything can be solved a cup of coffee and slice of cake. It would be wonderful. .Nice information there.

MOLLYC said...

One of my new life goals is to have tea and a slice of cake WITH YOU. love

Pam said...

Those are a lot of holidays to celebrate during the month of March. We have Mother's Day in May in the US. Of course, it usually falls right around my hubby's birthday, so he gets the limelight. : )

Jenners said...

Jeez ... and I thought December had a lot of holidays!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Lots of fantastic holidays !:)
Thanks for posting these.
Betty xx

joemmama said...

Gosh- I just love the sound of Mothering Sunday! It sounds so much nicer than Mothers Day.