As many people around the world celebrated Mother's Day yesterday, a
Chinese scholar has made it his mission to create China's own Mother's
Li Hanqiu, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, suggested that the second day of
the fourth lunar month, which falls on May 18 this year, be the day.
It coincides with the birthday of 4th century BC philosopher Mencius,
whose mother has long been considered the epitome of maternal devotion and
Li has called for the traditional Western gift of carnations for the
day to be changed to lilies, which in ancient times were planted by
mothers in their courtyards as a sign of sorrow at their children leaving
"In a country with a deeply-rooted tradition of filial piety, we should have our own
occasion for people to express love for mothers according to Chinese
custom," Li said.
He has founded a non-government organization Chinese Mothers' Festival
Promotion Society" with the support of around 100 Confucian scholars and
lecturers of ethics. It plans to celebrate its first Chinese Mother
Festival on May 18.
"This is our first year and the celebration will be held only in
Zoucheng city of Shandong Province and Shijiazhuang in Hebei, but we
believe it will be accepted by more Chinese people at home and abroad as
it is conducive to revitalizing our traditional culture of filial piety,"
He also plans to build a theme park on maternity culture in Zoucheng,
the birthplace of Mencius.
According to Li, the society plans to send pamphlets over the next few
years to a million students in 100 cities advocating filial piety.