About Mother's Day
In Bulgaria Mother's Day is celebrated on March 8th, International Women’s Day.
Both days have completely different roots, so how did they get combined?
According to some scholars Mother’s Day came from the Ancient Greek celebrations in honour of the mother during the spring festivities of goddesses Rhea (or Cybele) who was believed to be the Great Mother of Gods, particularly of Zeus. Her cult was celebrated during the so-called Ides of March in Asia Minor. In the Roman religious calendar, they celebrate the Matronalia (from Latin “mother”) on the 1st of March and the day of Cybele during the Hilaria on the 25th of March. The day was chosen during the month of fertility, the main characteristic of motherhood.
In the 15th century the English began to celebrate Mothering Sunday, on the fourth Sunday of Lent. According to historians on this day the domestic servants were given a day off to visit their families. Consequently, the day became an unofficial day of the family and from there – a Mothering Sunday.
In 1908, the United States of America first officially celebrated Mother’s Day thanks to a primary teacher Ann Jarvis who managed to promote the day in honour of her mother. Before her death, Ann’s mother had expressed her wish for the creation of a day dedicated to all mothers because of their efforts in raising children and taking care of the home cosiness.
Today, the day is celebrated in many countries on a date which can vary: such as the second (Belgium, Canada) or last Sunday (France, Morocco) of May, or the first Sunday of June (Luxemburg).
International Women's Day
International Women's Day was first established at the 1910 International Socialist Women's Conference in Copenhagen. German women's rights activist and Marxist theorist Clara Zetkin was the one who tabled the idea.
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark celebrated the holiday for the first time on March 19th 1911, with the Soviet Union the first to make it a public holiday in 1917 The date of 8th March was adopted internationally in 1921.
In 1977, the United Nations declared 8th March as International Women's Day, a day each year when the world should celebrate, recognize and remember women and the accomplishments they have made to society.
March 8th in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, the day was celebrated for the first time in 1915 and was officially recognized in 1944. Initially it was only observed by female workers in fabrics, factories and institutions. On the day, the contribution of women in production, culture, science and public life was honoured.
After 1960 the celebration of the day became more popular and became a holiday not only for working women but also for the mother.
In Bulgaria, the American version of Mother’s Day had failed to spread (seen as too commercial), and Bulgarian women choose to celebrate International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day together. So, on that day every Bulgarian gives flowers to the most precious woman in their life as a sign of gratitude.