Image: © Keystone
Image: © Keystone
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Local News Summary of May, 14th

  • The real story of Mother's Day
  • Open Air Circus Spectacle enchants small and large circus fans

The real story of Mother's Day

After introducing Mother's Day in 1917 in the United States, its founder fought for its abolition due to too much commercialisation.

Yesterday wasn't a day for lovers, to celebrate the best sandwiches or to mark the end of the war. It was simply a day to say «thank you mum». Regardless of doing this with flowers, pralines, perfume or self-made presents made by little ones – mum is happy anyway. The real background, however, has nothing to do with presents or consumerism.

First appearance 101 years ago

The first Mother's Day was celebrated on 12 May 1907 in the USA. It wasn’t invented as a cheerful «thank you» to mothers, but was instead a remembrance day for Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis, the founder of «Mother’s Friendships Day», in 1865. The day should be a possibility for mothers to exchange opinions about real-life questions.

Her daughter, Anne Marie Jarvis, organised a remembrance day two years after her mother's death, the «Memorial Mother’s Day Meeting». It was intended as a one-off celebration – however, a year later, the Methodist church dedicated a service to all mothers. A total of 500 white carnations were given to the mothers who attended the church.

Fight for abolition

After that, Anna Marie Jarvis had a new goal: she made it her full-time job to work on introducing an official mother's day. She wrote to politicians, businessmen, clergymen, and women's associations. Two years later the first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 45 states. On the second Sunday in May 1914, the USA for the first time celebrated Mother's Day.

Since then, more and more businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. But this commercialisation was not approved of by the founder. She regretted having introducing the day and unsuccessfully fought for its abolition.

What about Switzerland?

In 1914, the Salvation Army and the Union Chrétiennes de Jeunes Gens de la Suisse Romande (YMCA) fought for the introduction of Mother's Day. They were not successful in the German part of Switzerland. It wasn’t until 1930 that florists, gardeners, and confectioners championed the day and achieved its breakthrough.

Open Air Circus Spectacle enchants small and large circus fans

The tenth anniversary of the international YOUNG STAGE festival was marked by a large open-air circus performed on Messeplatz yesterday. The event attracted many circus fans, parents and children, who could also take their first steps in diverse circus disciplines. A children's jury awarded the «Young Star»-award.

Sunday was dominated by children attending circus performances, meeting artists, and learning some circus disciplines. Hundreds of children and parents enjoyed the colourful performances on the Messeplatz.

Many former YOUNG STAGE participants wowed the crowds with their performances. These included the Cirque la Compagnie which were awarded with a bronze YOUNG STAGE star, an award given out by the Cirque du Soleil, and a gold medal Paris. Cie Lady Cocktail from France showed their show «Les Filles du 2ème». Cie Sôlta (France/Brazil) showed a mixture of swinging pole, juggling, acrobatics, and dance combined with magic and comedy. The Swiss company E1NZ presented vertical art on ropes and mesmerising bottle juggling. Tarek & Kami-Lynne, who both already experienced Cirque du Soleil, gave an outstanding performance while Lukas & Aaron are well-known for their spring-board performance and were once awarded the golden star by YOUNG STAGE. Other acts including Guillermo Leon de Keijzer, Chris & Iris, Mario Espanol, and the duo Davide Romeo & Elisa Morniroli entertained the public despite the cold weather. The programme on the Messeplatz was accompanied by Universal Druckluftorchester, and the Swiss multi-talent, Davide Romeo.

Family parkour

The Basilisk, Robiano, and Bruderholz circuses presented different disciplines such as Rolla Rolla, Diabolo, uni-cycling, or balancing acts – through this many children were attracted to the circus world.

«Young Star» award by children’s jury

Every year on Sunday morning, a children’s jury awards the «Young Star»-award of 1000 francs, sponsored by Coop. For the jury of nine members, it was not so easy to make a decision. «Everything was very good», said Fynn, just before publishing the jury’s decision. «Collectif Malunés» with their amusing performance with a teeterboard (Korean seesaw) and Korean cradle, entertained the crowd while the three Belgians Simon Bruyninckx, Arne Sabbe, Tars van der Vaerent, and Englishman Luka Harley went down well with the public.

Basel goes circus-mad

The shows with YOUNG STAGE artists were also a big success this year. On Monday and Tuesday night, a top-level jury judges the 25 artists which were selected from 600 applicants. For the two performances there are only few places available.

Under the motto «Basel goes Circus» YOUNG STAGE celebrates its tenth anniversary. On Saturday afternoon, the Canadian balance artist Laurence Tremblay-Vu showed his tricks and enthralled thousands of spectators when crossing the Rhine on a 190-metre long rope 25 metres above the river.

A total of 160 children from all over Switzerland and South Baden could exercise in circus workshops with professional artists - the same ones who performed on the Open Air Circus Spectacle.