Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's day: its history, origin, celebration, spirit, and significance as related in prose and verse Moffart, Yard & Company, 1915.

The arrival of this newcomer, Mothers' Day, in the calendar of our national festivals is significant. That a day so rich in sentiment, so tender in its meaning, should be officially adopted in a country which scoffs at sentiment and prides itself on its veneer of practicality is a hopeful sign. Like the divining rod of old usage it reveals underneath the crust of commercialism a perennial spring of idealism.

Although the formal designation of a specific day as Mothers' Day was but recently made in this country, we find in turning the pages of history that the idea rests, like so many of our customs, upon an ancient foundation. It strikes deep roots into universal truth and emotion. Mother-love antedates the Christian religion. Mother-worship, with its own rites and ceremonies, reaches back into pagan times.

Our earliest record of formal mother-worship is in the stories of the ceremonies by which Cybele, or Rhea, "The Great Mother of the Gods," was worshiped in Asia Minor. In her worship it was the power and majesty of motherhood rather than its tender maternal spirit that the wild dances and wilder music celebrated. Cybele was represented as traversing the mountains in a chariot drawn by lions. The lion, the oak and the pine were sacred to her.

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