Mother’s Day is a time of commemoration and
celebration for Mom. It is a time of breakfast in bed, family gatherings,
and crayon scribbled “I Love You”s.
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.
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
Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also
celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.
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