First, Happy Mother’s Day! to my mom and all those other moms out there reading this blog. To my mom, I hope you enjoy the special something I sent you and I want you to know that I love you very very much and miss you a lot!
Now, let’s learn about Mother’s Day in Japan.
Mother’s Day in Japan was initially commemorated during the Shōwa period as the birthday of Empress Kōjun (mother of Emperor Akihito) on 6 March. This was established in 1931 when Imperial Women’s Union was organised. In 1937, the first meeting of “Praise Mothers” was held on 8 May, and in around 1949 Japanese society adapted to celebrate Mother’s day on the second Sunday of May, the same as many other counties. Nowadays it is rather a marketed holiday, and people typically give flowers such as red carnations and roses as gifts.
However, another source says this:
In Japan it was first observed by Christians starting around 1913, and by the 1930s large gatherings were being held to celebrate Mother’s Day. The practice was halted during World War II, when Western customs were prohibited, but it was revived after the war, partly as a means of consoling the women and children who lost their husbands and fathers in the war. By 1949 the practice had spread to all parts of the country.
Still, Mother’s Day in Japan does not really seem to have taken to the hearts of its people as much as it has in America. My host family seems to be an exception to this rule as my host mom is usually treated like a princess and she doesn’t have to cook – much to the distress of my siblings who have to eat the dad’s cooking. However, I remember talking to my host sister about what sorts of things her and her brother’s do for Mother’s Day, and she thought it was funny that I used to make breakfast in bed for my mom.
In Japan, it is customary to give red carnations to mother’s on Mother’s Day – no other color. I am not sure why Japan chose the red carnation, as I think all other carnations are equally as beautiful, but after some research, I think I figured it out: Carnation production in Japan started in 1909 when a florist brought seeds back from United States. For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on color.
Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection.
White carnations indicate pure love and good luck, while striped symbolise a regret that a love cannot be shared.
Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to a Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother’s undying love. Although, I am not sure how many Japanese people are aware of this.
This year, Japan is taking red carnations to a new level…and turning them into food items!
These sort of sweets have been all over the news and on all sorts of TV programs recently here in Japan, and I really want to try one – not to mention send some of the goodies to you Mom! Other than ice cream, there is carnation pudding and carnation “cake.” They are equally as lovely looking as the ice cream, so how about some more pictures?
Unfortunately, none of this would keep long enough for me to send any. Besides food products, other gifts being pushed this year are spa trips and matching apron and glove sets for cooking being endorsed by model Tsubasa. I have to admit…they are really cute and I kind of want a set for myself.
I dunno, I still like the idea of making breakfast in bed for my mom. I can’t do it now, thank you Pacific Ocean, but might just take the opportunity when I am back home in November.