Calendarpedia defines Mother’s Day 2020 as a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, yet most commonly in March, April, or May.
In most countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, among them the USA, Canada, most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, the Philippines and South Africa.
There are various ways to show an appreciation for mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day. Any people remember their mothers and there are many different ways to celebrate Mother’s Day:
– Giving cards, flowers, or cakes.
– Family gatherings or visits.
– Family breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners either at home, at a café or at a restaurant.
– Personal phone calls, particularly from children who live away from their mothers and/or mother figures.
– Mother’s Day poems and messages.
– Gifts of chocolate, jewelry, accessories, clothing, hobby equipment or tools, handmade items, or gift vouchers.
– A day at the movies with mothers and/or mother figures.
Vietnamese Mother’s Day, which happens on 15 July (lunar calendar) and combines celebrating their parents as well as those who have died and call “Vu Lan”
In Vietnam, mother’s day is seen as a time to express their profound gratitude and family devotion to their parents, and especially their mothers. The tradition goes to honor parents who are both living and departed.
The celebrations invite the souls of their ancestors to find their way back to earth. This tradition stems from the Buddhist religion, as the Vietnamese population is predominantly comprised of the Buddhist faith.
The celebration relies heavily on honoring the dead, as they believe that the dead’s souls return to their former homes during this time.
For this reason, during its mother’s day celebrations, it is common to see food offerings, and other items to offer the hungry spirits, when the kingdoms of heaven, hell and earth have been opened.
The purpose of this ritual is to feed the souls of the departed and pray for their salvation. It is also considered as a way for people to abide by their duties to their families.
The ceremony is said to help rescue the souls of seven generations of ancestors from any sufferings that they are enduring away from Earth. Anytime within the month, every family can choose a day of feasting and burning of incense in front of the house, to welcome the spirits and invite them to eat.
This ritual is considered a very personal chance for the Vietnamese to express their boundless appreciation to their parents.
Another part of the tradition is for the Vietnamese locals, who wish to celebrate their mothers, to go to a pagoda (or a temple), wearing a rose that represents their mothers. This tradition is one of the most common traditions of the mother’s day celebrations, as thousands of people are said to partake in this celebration. The roses that are worn during this ritual vary in color, whether pink, red or white.
The pink and red rose represents mothers who are living, while the white roses represent mothers who have departed. The rose is a symbol of respect, honor and love amongst parents and their children, irrespective of their religion or social class.
During this festival, locals are invited to burn incense and pray for peace and harmony to their parents and family members, as well as express their gratitude and love.
The legend behind the festival dates back to the earliest of Buddhism. One day when he was meditating, Muc-Kien-Lien, one of the Buddha’s ten principal disciples, saw his late mother suffering the tortures of hell, condemned because of the evil deeds she had committed during her life.
He saw that his mother was starving, but she had nothing to eat but fire. Muc Kien Lien summoned all his spiritual powers to bring her a bowl of rice – but the food was burnt to ash before she could bring it to her mouth.
When he arrived back in the physical world, he asked for the Buddha’s guidance to help his mother and fulfill his duty as a pious son. The Buddha advised him to collect a gathering of monks and devotees and get them to pray together on this day (which this year falls on August 15 in the Western calendar).
The combined prayers proved to be so powerful that they achieved the release not only of Muc Kien Lien’s mother, but also for countless other souls. Ever since, on the festival of Vu Lan – Wandering Soul’s Day- the gates of hell are believed to be thrown open to give the tormented souls 24 hour holiday.
Reference: expatwoman.com, vietnamdiscovery.com