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  • Writer's pictureNadine Selem

Ancient Egyptians celebrated Mother’s Day for 7,000 Years

Nadine, from Egypt, talks about the time-old practice of Mother's Day with regard to famous goddesses and Egyptian history close to her heart.

March 21 is the day when Arab mothers are serenaded with flowers, cards, gifts and family dinners to celebrate their love, care and sacrifices.

The inscriptions on the walls of the Egyptian temples reveal the level of dignity with which the ancient Egyptians treated their mothers."

The history of why the important day is celebrated on March 21 dates back to the time of the pharaohs. The first celebrations of motherhood occurred in my country in Egypt as part of an ancient Egyptian tradition. The ancient Egyptians used to make boats filled with flowers to float around Egyptian cities on this specific day to celebrate women and mothers.

The inscriptions on the walls of the Egyptian temples reveal the level of dignity with which the ancient Egyptians treated their mothers. In addition, the archaeologists have found many papyri manifesting the mothers’ special status to such a high degree that they elevated the mothers until they reached the rank of the gods, like Mut Nathr (the god’s mother), Hathor (the ancient goddess of love and motherhood), and Isis (the more famous and well-known goddess of motherhood). Another example of a strong ancient goddess is Tweret (the ancient goddess of fertility, pregnancy, and birth), who has the body of a hippo. This was because the ancient Egyptians observed that female hippos fiercely protect their young. The dangerous yet protective aspect of hippos was probably one of the reasons Taweret was depicted as part hippo. The fact that female hippos usually bear only one young, as do humans in some cases, is perhaps another reason.

Isis was the one who fought long and hard to retrieve her husband Osiris’s body parts and restore her son Horus’s rights. A lot of statues portray her while holding and breastfeeding her baby, and these have been made in her honor.

Additionally, many maternal queens received the respect from their sons, such as Ahhotep I , the mother of Ahmose I. She was given a necklace with three pendants in the form of flies. This ceremonial necklace is a military decoration bestowed upon military leaders for their courage on the battle field. It was given to the mother queen by her two sons King Ahmose I and Kamose in gratitude for her support and liberation during the struggle against the Hyksos.

As you can see, mother's day in Egypt trails back to ancient Egyptian history, yet still resonates with my heart today.


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