The modern Mother's Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in May, March, or April as a day to honor mothers and motherhood. In the UK and Ireland, it follows the old traditions of Mothering Sunday, celebrated in March/April.

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter*), "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England. 

 

 

During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

 

In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

 

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Malaysia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wesak day ( Vesākha, Vesak or also called Buddha's Birthday or Buddha Day) where all the Buddhists will celebrate this honour and memorial day togather. 

Wesak Day is an annual holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists in the South Asian and South East Asian countries of Nepal, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia and India.

This most important festivals fall in the month of May. The exact date of Wesak varies according to the various lunar calendars used in different traditions. Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Siddharta Gautama Shakyamuni (Sakyamuni) Buddha because all the three events took place on the same lunar date.

 

The celebration for the Wesak day begins much before the dawn when the Buddhists gather in Buddhist temples for worship all over Malaysia. Religious offerings and rituals such as 'bathing of the Buddha', chanting of holy scriptures, lighting of joss sticks and ordination of monks usually take place in Buddhist temples.

The Buddhist eat a vegetarian diet prior to the festival in order to cleanse and purify themselves. Doves and tortoises are released on the Wesak Day as a symbolic gesture of releasing the soul and giving up the past sins. Free meals are also given to the needy on the Wesak Day.

Celebrating Wesak also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. To this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes throughout the country. Wesak is also a time for great joy and happiness, expressed not by pandering to one’s appetites but by concentrating on useful activities such as decorating and illuminating temples, painting and creating exquisite scenes from the life of the Buddha for public dissemination. Devout Buddhists also vie with one another to provide refreshments and vegetarian food to followers who visit the temple to pay homage to the Enlightened One.

During nightfall, there will be grand processions of Buddha car in cities. A few days before the Wesak Day, a Buddha car will be start decorated with many of the colourful fresh flower. Followed by placing the Buddha statue on the car. Devotees will from the Buddha car from the start until the end of the processions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dragon Boat Festival (Chinese: 龙舟节), also known as Duanwu Festival (Chinese: 端午节), celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. 

The festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar on which the Chinese calendar is based. The alternative name is Double Fifth. The focus of the celebrations includes eating the rice dumpling zongzi, drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu (Chinese: 雄黃酒), and racing dragon boats.

 

The history of Duanwu Festival is believed from the ancient China. A number of theories exist about its origins as a number of folk traditions and explanatory myths are connected to its observance. The best known of these relates to the suicide in 278 BCE of Qu Yuan, poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period.

The well-known traditional story holds that the festival commemorates the death of poet Qu Yuan (c. 340 BCE – 278 BCE) of the ancient state of Chu, in the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty. A descendant of the Chu royal house, Qu served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance. Qu Yuan was accused of treason.

During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry, for which he is now remembered. Twenty-eight years later, Qin conquered the capital of Chu. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

It is said that the local people, who admired him, threw lumps of rice into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan's body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi. The local people were also said to have paddled out on boats, either to scare the fish away or to retrieve his body. This is said to be the origin of dragon boat racing.

Another theory said that the Duanwu Festival had its origins in dragon worship. Support is drawn from two key traditions of the festival: the tradition of zongzi, or throwing food into the river, and dragon boat racing. The food may have originally represented an offering to the dragon king, while dragon boat racing naturally reflects reverence of the dragon and the active yang energy associated with it. This combines with the tradition of visiting friends and family on boats.

Although this is a celebration day for Chinese culture, but for Malaysia, it is not a public holiday. Today, Chinese still celebrate this festival happily by having the various rice dumpling zongzi which are home-made or from market. Activity dragon boats racing also drawn public attention even from others country.

You may find the Chinese Glutinious Rice Dumpling - Zongzi at the Food Info in the website.

A dragon boat (also dragonboat) is a human-powered boat (Paddled Water Craft) traditionally made of teak wood to various designs and sizes. It is one of a family of Traditional Long Boats found throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. At other times the decorative regalia is usually removed, although the drum often remains aboard for training purposes. 

Another ritual called Awakening of the Dragon involves a Daoist priest dotting the bulging eyes of the carved dragon head attached to the boat, in the sense of ending its slumber and re-energising its spirit or qi (pronounced: chee). At festivals today, a VIP can be invited to step forward to touch the eyes on a dragon boat head with a brush dipped in red paint in order to reanimate the creature's bold spirit for hearty racing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Father's Day is a widely known celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in many countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers.

Father's Day is a celebration of fathers inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. It is also celebrated to honor and commemorate our forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities. Contrary to popular belief, the first observance of Father's Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. The special day was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907. The First Father's Day Church, now the Central United Methodist Church, still stands in Fairmont today.

Various other sources believe that the first Father's Day was held nearly two years later on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. After listening to a church sermon at Spokane's Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909 about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Dodd felt strongly that fatherhood needed recognition, as well. She wanted a celebration that honored fathers like her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was left to raise his family alone when his wife died giving birth to their sixth child when Sonora was 16 years old.

In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.

 

 

 

 

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