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Mother's Day a time for showing love

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2012-05-12

Sunday is Motherís Day, a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, and the influence moms have worldwide on practically everyone.

Oddly enough, Motherís Day didnít start out to be a salute to mothers, but rather, a call by Julia Ward Howe in 1870 to rally women to join in support of disarmament. That Motherís Day Proclamation didnít get any traction even in the following decades. In 1908, in Grafton, West Virginia, Anna Jarvis tweaked the Motherís Day theme to be one of honoring oneís mother, wanting to accomplish her motherís dream of having a celebration to honor all mothers.

Jarvis pushed, solicited support from a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, and promoted it even more until she had the attention of President Woodrow Wilson, who made Motherís Day an official national holiday in 1914. Within a few years, the Motherís Day concept began spreading, and by World War II was adopted in one form or another in dozens of countries. As other countries and cultures picked up on Motherís Day, it took on various meaningsóreligious, historical or legendaryóand began being celebrated on different dates. The second Sunday of May and the fourth Sunday of Lent are the two primary days celebrated today, although most Arab countries celebrate on March 21st.

In some countries now, itís potentially offensive to oneís mother not to mark Motherís Day. The Roman Catholic Church associated the day with reverencing the Virgin Mary, while in Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, a special prayer service is held on Motherís Day in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary. The Hindu tradition is Mata Tirtha Aunshi, the Mother Pilgrimage fortnight, and actually pre-dates the creation of the Western-inspired holiday by at least a few centuries. Even in stoically secretive China, Motherís Day is becoming more popular, and carnations are a very popular gift. Germany seized on Muttertage to promote the values of motherhood at a time when it had the lowest birthrate in Europe, and to encourage women to bear more children.

Japanís adoption of Motherís Day was initially commemorated during the Showa period as the birthday of Empress Kojun, mother of Emperor Akihito in 1931, being celebrated on March 6th. The first meeting of ďPraise MothersĒ was held on May 8th, and in 1949 Japanese society adopted the second Sunday of May as the official holiday. Today, itís a rather commercial holiday, with people typically giving flowers such as red carnations and roses. The lady who began it all, Anne Jarvis, became disenchanted with the way commercialism took over the day, which is often called a ĎHallmark holidayí because of Motherís Day becoming one of the biggest days for sales of flowers and greeting cards, as well as long-distance telephone calls. She died in 1948 regretting what had become of her holiday.

On Okinawa, thereís much ado about Motherís Day, with countless celebrations and special events taking place on Sunday. From dinners to Taiko Drum performances, thereís seemingly no limit to ways moms can be honored. The Seamenís Club Naha is featuring a special Motherís Day Dinner from 11 a.m. ~ 8 p.m., and every mom gets a red rose. Advance reservations and tickets are $18.95, or $21.95 at the door. Call (098) 857-1753 or DSN 648-7493 for reservations.

The Taiko Drum Performances are Sunday 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the AEON Chatan Mihama. Masao Sen & Kenju Niinuma Mothers Day Special runs both May 12th and 13th at the Okinawa Miyako Hotel in Matsugawa, Naha City. Reservations are •10,800 and •9,800 for seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Zanpa Royal Hotel in Yomitan has a Mothersí Smile Day for •5,500, including lunch and show. The Loisir Hotel & Spa Tower in Naha has the Kei-ichiro Mikawa Mothers Day Special at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Prices are •6,200 and •5,500.

The U.S. military bases have Motherís Day Specials, too. Both the Rocker NCO Club and Kadena Officersí Club have Motherís Day Brunch 10 a.m. ~ 2 p.m., the Youth Centerís Family Motherís Day Dinner is May 12th at 6 p.m. Emery Lanesí Motherís Day Special is Sunday, and includes bowling and pizza for $49.95. Okuma has a Motherís Day Weekend special Saturday 5 p.m. ~ 8:30 p.m. at the Surfside Restaurant. The Surfside Club at Camp Kinser and Ocean Breeze at Camp Foster both have Motherís Day Breakfasts 9 a.m. ~ 2 p.m., while Tengan Castle and Butler Officersí Club have brunches that also run until 2 p.m.

At the Pacific Hotel in Naha, the Motherís Day Special Yukari Ito Lunch & Dinner Shows are at noon and 6 p.m. Prices are •13,700, •11,800 and •8,900. Yukito Ara and Isamu Shimoji entertain as Sakishima Meeting at noon at the Laguna Garden Hotel in Ginowan. The price is •7,000. The Yukihiro Motherís Day Special at Cafť Vinca in Nishizaki, Itoman, begins at 11:30 a.m. The price is •5,000. A Kaguyahimo Motherís Day Special at Wedding Hall Soie in Minami Momenbaru, Okinawa City, has two shows at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Advance tickets are •4,000, or •4,500 at the door, including meal.

Arisa & Fujiko with Coconuts Oils ĎMotherís Day Live at Plaza House starts at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are •2,000 or •2,500 at the door. Saeko & Sayuki Iraha Motherís Day Performances at the Palette Kumoji Theater in Naha City are at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are •3,000 in advance or •3,500 at the door.

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