How and when is Mother’s Day celebrated around the world?

Many people remember their mothers and mother figures (stepmothers, mothers-in-law, foster parents) on Mother’s Day. This holiday falls on different days depending on the country where it is celebrated. Most often it is held on the second Sunday of May in countries like Australia, Canada and the USA. In the UK it is held exactly 3 weeks before Easter Sunday. It is an annual public holiday in Costa Rica (August 15), Samoa (second Monday of May), Thailand (August 12) and Georgia (March 3). In Egypt and several other Arab countries, Mother’s Day falls on March 21, the first day of spring.

Mother’s Day celebrations can be dated to ancient Greek civilization, when during spring celebration Rhea, Mother of all Gods, was honored. The modern-day origins can be attributed to Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis, who were important figures in establishing the tradition in the United States. Around 1870 Julia Ward Howe called for Mother’s Day to be celebrated each year. It continued to be held in Boston for about 10 years under her sponsorship but died out after that. Other sources say that Juliet Calhoun Blakely initiated Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan in the late 1800s. Her sons paid tribute to her each year and encouraged others to do so to honor their mothers. In 1907 in Grafton, West Virginia, Anna Jarvis held a private Mother’s Day celebration in memory of her mother. In 1908 she played a key role in arranging a church service hat attracted 407 children and mothers. In 1912 Mother’s Day International Association was founded in order to promote this holiday in countries around the world.

The traditions of celebrating Mother’s Day differ in various cultures and countries. In most European countries cars and flowers are bestowed and family dinners are held. On the second Sunday of May, an increasing number of Chinese celebrate the day with gifts and festivities. As early as the 16th century, the UK observed Mothering Sunday on the fourth Sunday of Lent, when families gathered to attend church. In the early 20th century, Mothering Sunday was fused with Hallmark-card-giving American holiday, but it was retained its traditional name. May 10 is the busiest day of the year for Mexican restaurants. Flowers are a must, but the day is also filled with music, food and celebrations. In the former Soviet Union, mothers were celebrated on March 8 (International Women’s Day), which is now an internationally-observed day to honor women and reflect on gender equality. In 1998, post-Soviet Russia introduced Mother’s Day on the last Sunday in November, but most of the gift giving still happens in March.

Nowadays many people believe that Mother’s Day is largely commercialized with card companies, flower shops, jewellery stores, gift shops, restaurants, hotels and department stores advertising promotions and special deals for this event. From one point of view, it can be true, but as long as we remember the true value of motherhood and what really this holiday celebrates, I see no reason why not to support the local economies on this special day.





Mario Vargas Llosa – The Time of a Hero

From the series: Masters of Modern Literature

Mario Vargas Llosa – The Time of a Hero

The Nobel-Prize winner is well-known for his controversial novels which tell stories about Peru and Latin America culture. The ability to vividly depict internal conflicts, absurds and struggles of the society turned him into one of the most important Latin American writers of all time. One of the authors that gained recognition in the consequence of Latin America Boom of the 1960s, Llosa undoubtedly left his mark on the modern literature.

The City and the Dogs

The controversy accompanied Llosa from the very beginning of his writing career. The novel The Time of a Hero, a fictional story inspired by Llosa’s experience from Military Academy in Lima, emphasised the strictness and artificial order of the world he used to be a part of. The play with narrative voices showed multiple perspectives and emotions of the characters, which proved how differently the understanding of reality is shaped. The book was burnt during a special event by the members of the Academy, however, it turned out to be one of the most significant Peruvian novels of all time.

The role of his prose

Llosa’s ability to explore and experiment with different literary genres is remarkable. Some of his writings are crime novels, in which he not only creates riveting stories but also presents the reality of Peru. Colorful descriptions and meaningful imagery help in understanding the culture and worldview of the people.

Who Killed Palomino Molero?

The atmosphere Llosa creates in the crime novel Who Killed Palomino Molero brings the reader closer to life in Peruvian villages. The grains of sand seem to appear on the pages of the book that illuminates with Peruvian sun. The reader strolls along the streets together with the characters – policemen who investigate the case of the murder. Llosa builds a story of young love, mother tragedy and unanswered questions, offering great adventure into the Latin American world.

To be continued…

Murakami and jazz

From the series: Masters of Modern Literature


Murakami and jazz

The music led him to the kingdom of forgotten reality. Transcending the dimensions and exploring alternative worlds, Murakami opens a box of frightening truths about human beings.

Music and mystery

The question why did the owner of a jazz club become a world-known writer is not easy to answer. He claims that the inspiration appeared during the baseball match, which illustrates the power of a single thought. The love to jazz music and the influence of American culture continuously shape Murakami’s writing. However, unusual, illogical and unexplainable phenomena are the most characteristic ones in his books.

Cats and ears

Murakami subtly builds a pattern of elements that appear in his novels without obvious reasons. The motif of cats, descriptions of ears and distinctive music fascinate, creating an inimitable atmosphere. Shocking images and unanswered questions, deliberate development of the plot and philosophical dilemmas rule in Murakami’s prose. The author depicts the process of the characters’ change, showing how life inertia is converted into the state of self-understanding.

Reflecting on reality

One of the most significant of Murakami’s novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, tells a story of Toru, whose seemingly normal, stabilised life ends with his wife’s disappearance. His everyday life is being filled with strangeness and unusual events connected with wells, Tokio streets and the mysteries of consciousness. The author expresses his thoughts on death and sacrifices through intricate dreams and fantasies. Toru’s loneliness is an important theme of the book, showing the limitation of compassion and empathy. Murakami indicates that understanding of others will never be full and would not eradicate unfulfillment.

The world of fantasy

The author’s thoughts on what defines the reality are significant especially when all illusions are lost. The power to change our perception and attitude lies in our hands and with at least a tinge of fantasy we are able to alter it.

To be continued…





Skies and glory

Winners and losers

The Universe

The Sun and the Moon

Snowflakes and poems

Writers and actors

People and monsters


Palaces and castles

All I’ve built with you



The seas and the mountains

The ruins of what was left

All the islands in the world

Lava and wetlands

Steel and timber

All the places I’ve crossed

Everything I wanted I had




Alphabet poetry

Alphabet poetry

Avenue beneath Californian dawn

Each feather gradually hardened

Illusion joined kindlessly

Large mosaic no one praised

Quickstepped rebelliously

Stopped the ubiquitous violence

Woke Yosemite zonetime

Advice from seniors

Advice from seniors

Are you a lower classman and want to read about a few tips from your older friends about how to get ready for senior exams? This is the article for you! Find out when to start revising materials for your “matury”, “Abitur”, or senior exams and how to do it! 🙂

There are many different opinions about when to start revising for exams. Almost all seniors advise studying systematically and regularly during all 3 or 4 years of high school. Some might argue that revisions a few months before real exams are pointless because you will forget it all. They prefer to stay up all day and night before the exam day and prepare then. I guess they like to work under pressure and that’s their method of studying. However, most of the students in our school start revising for “matura” after New Year’s Eve. The mock exams start soon after that, and in school teachers might also start revising.

Psychologists also argue when is the best time to start preparing. Every student has his/her own way of learning, and if they don’t, they should find one that works best for them.

During your 3 or 4 years of high school, you should collect your notes, quizzes, tests and other materials from class, since it will become a gigantic database for your future revisions. You don’t need to worry about borrowing the notes from others a week before the senior exam. If you have any long-term papers to write (internal assessments, Extended Essay or others) it’s better to start working on them as soon as possible. Try writing little things down, whenever you have some free time. Also, use your summer holidays to catch up with some part of the course that maybe you didn’t really understand in class, or organize your shelves, so that you can enter the new year or your senior year prepared.

Some seniors also advise organizing your work schedule. If you have any free periods (“okienka”), use them exhaustingly, so that you can make the best of your time spent in school and not work on homework until 3am. Additionally, don’t take too much on your plate. We all know how exciting it is: parties, sports, driving, school, voting, maybe a job. So many things to do, but so little time. Get your priorities straight! Think about what are the most important things for you during the next 3 years. Maybe make a list of your goals and aims. Organize your time so that you can still attend parties, but you aren’t failing any classes.

I once heard that you can’t have it all: enough sleep, friendships/parties, and good grades. You can have only 2 out of those 3 things. I disagree. Good organization, not postponing anything for “later” and motivations help you achieve anything you want. Just listen to what your older friends are telling you, and focus! There are only a few more years of high school left, and then you will be free to go out into the world by yourself! Good luck!