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February – The Mother of All Sundays

on February 15, 2021

How did you get on with our suggestions last month for what to do virtually?  Yorkshire Appetite took part for Valentine’s Day in the online cheese and wine tasting by the Courtyard Dairy.  A tasting of six goats cheese washed down by a rather cheeky little wine.  Very informative and we were VERY FULL OF CHEESE. In fact, we may have overcheesed.  Still, a month to recover before Mother’s Day where we’re holding out for some champagne truffles.

In celebration of Mother’s Day and to get you thinking about your own family’s celebrations, we look at how this day is celebrated around the world.  For example, in Yorkshire do you know it is tradition to send your mother a Yorkshire Goodie Box, a great selection of Yorkshire’s yummy food products and which, handily, you can get your hands on here.

OK, so I made that one up but why not start a new tradition?  We start our investigation close to home. Ah, la belle France. Their fête des mères on the last Sunday in May was first made a celebration by the tiny Napoleon to reward mothers of large families for their fertility and sacrifice. These days it is much like our own, children give their mothers gifs, do chores for them and everyone has a lovely celebratory meal at the end of the day – I’m assuming NOT cooked by Maman.

Further afield, Japan’s Mothers Day in May is like ours in that children do chores for their mothers and the symbol of the day is the carnation, representing the gentle strength of mothers who are revered in Japanese culture. Children give their mothers cards, and red carnations or roses.  Moving continents, in early August, the indigenous population of the Andes in Peru celebrate Pachamama, or Mother Earth, on a special day called Martes de Challa.  This ancient mythological goddess is the cause of earthquakes and bringer of fertility and is very much revered in this culture and many others in Latin America.

Over the other side of the continent in Brazil, the second Sunday in May is Dia das Mães, where there are many gatherings and children’s performances and then to top it all off, a large barbeque with all the extended family. After Christmas, it’s their biggest holiday. But why have just one day, when you can have a ten day festival!  I’m all in favour of the Hindu festival of the goddess Durga, or Divine Mother, which dates back to the sixteenth century. Gifts are given not only to mothers but friends and family and the festival celebrates good over evil.  Many feasts are enjoyed by all though it’s not clear who is doing the cooking!  Ethiopia is another country which pushes the boat out for a festival – a mere three days this time.  When the rainy season comes to an end and the weather cheers up, all the family gathers for a large feast with singing and dancing. Daughters bring the vegetables, cheese, spices and butter and sons bring the meat.

Not so keen on the Mother’s Day in Serbia celebrated in December where the mother is tied up until she agrees to give her delightful offspring treats and gifts.  Luckily though she manages to get her own back on Children’s Day where the children are tied up until they agree to behave.

All we know is this, mothers all do a wonderful job and however you celebrate, make sure your mother knows you love her, or if she is no longer with you, think of the love you shared.  There is no one like your own mother.

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