Sunday for Mom
Fresh ideas on how to celebrate both here and near
While some of the more cynical among us might have believe that a few enterprising executives at a greeting card company created Mother’sf Day, this is far from the truth. In fact, celebrating mothers with a special day has its roots in ancient cultures. In Greek and Roman times there were various festivals celebrating goddesses, such as the Phrygian “Mother Goddess” Cybele, which was a celebration that was extended to all mothers. In Rome, a festival called Megalesia—generally held around the Vernal Equinox—paid homage to the Magna Mater goddess. As Christianity later took hold in Europe, the English began celebrating the fourth Sunday of Lent to honor the Virgin Mary, as well as the “Mother Church.” In the 1600s a clerical decree in England officially broadened the celebration of the Virgin Mary to include all mothers, referring to the occasion as Mothering Day.
Although Julia Ward Howe—a 19th-century suffragette and abolitionist who wrote the famous “Battle Hymn of the Republic”—worked to establish a Mother’s Peace Day in Boston, Mother’s Day, as we now celebrate it, is owed to Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia. Jarvis—so distraught over the loss of her own mother—campaigned to create an official Mother’s Day observance. Her petitions succeeded in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia where on May 10, 1908, a memorial celebration for mothers was held at the church where her mother had taught Sunday school which was subsequently renamed the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Jarvis eventually left her job to focus entirely on making Mother’s Day an official holiday, even incorporating the Mother’s Day International Association (MDIA) in 1912 to encourage national and international recognition of the day. Because of her tireless efforts, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday of May Mother’s Day, a national holiday and a “public expression of our love and reverence for all mothers.”
Check out some area offerings:
Lift Mom’s Spirits
How about a hot-air-balloon ride over the Housatonic and Naugatuck River Valleys? There’s a Champagne balloon flight—$275 per person, which includes a post-flight champagne celebration with snacks, flight certificates, and souvenir, not to mention priceless memories from 1,000 feet up.
Away From It All
Want to feel like you’ve escaped to the Cape in an hour? Saybrook Inn & Spa, a hotel, spa, and restaurant in Old Saybrook on one of the first “green” marinas on Long Island Sound, is the place to go. The 86-room hotel boasts SANNO, an award-winning spa as well as indoor and outdoor heated saltwater pools, and the newly renovated restaurant, Fresh Salt. Have up to 16 friends or family who need a weekend away? Across the street is Three Stories, a gorgeously renovated Victorian house featuring designer-decorated rooms and a full staff. There are two special Mother’s Day packages. The first is for a Saturday night stay at the hotel and includes a day of pampering at the spa, a bottle of wine, a horse carriage ride at the Point, dinner at Fresh Salt and two seats at the Mother’s Day brunch for $802. Want to just go for the day? Try the less expensive option that includes a 50-minute Swedish massage, 50-minute facial, and brunch. Per person cost is $269. We hear the Bloody Mary bar is to die for and the food’s delicious, too.
In town: Market on the Green, Town Hall Green, May 9, 10 am to 4 pm
Not too far: Mother’s Day Arts and Crafts Festival on the Milford Green, May 9 and 10, 10 am to 5 pm.
A little farther: Misquamicut Festival, Narragansett, RI, May 8 to 10.
Sweeten the Bond
Sign up for a mother-child cake decorating class with local baking and frosting expert Michelle Jaffee of Sweet & Simple. Call 203-292-8992 to schedule a class.
Shop Local With Mom
Mother’s Day Out, an event being held by the Exit19 Southport group—a consortium of businesses and merchants in Southport village—will be offering special discounts, services and fun things to do May 9, including an #Exit19Southport “Photo Booth,” where mom (and family) can create snapshots.
With Wee Ones
Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo offers free admission to moms plus a charming indoor carousel that delights kids of all ages. May 9-10, open 9 to 4 am.