The History of Mother’s Day

shutterstock_358993403Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate mothers, and many different countries have some form of Mother’s Day. The American Mother’s Day is held on the second Sunday in May. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, you should learn a little about this holiday’s history.

Ancient Mother’s Day Celebrations

Many of the ancient celebrations regarding motherhood didn’t really involve actual moms. It was a celebration of a higher power. Ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals that honored the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, and Christians had a celebration called Mothering Sunday. During this time, faithful people would return to their mother church or the main church near their home.

Modern Mother’s Day Celebrations

Modern Mother’s Day can be traced back to the 19th century. Ann Reeves Jarvis started Mothers’ Day Work Clubs, which helped educate women on childcare. After the Civil War, however, these clubs focused more on reconciling the Union and Confederate soldiers. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation that urged action towards world peace.

Official Mother’s Day

It was Ann Reeves Jarvis’ daughter Anna Jarvis who brought about the official Mother’s Day holiday in May 1908. She saw Mother’s Day as a time to celebrate the sacrifices mothers make for their children. She managed to get it added to the calendar and seen as an annual holiday by many states by 1912, and in 1914, Woodrow Wilson established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, by 1920, the holiday had become so commercialized that Jarvis became disgusted with the holiday, and by the time she died, she disowned the holiday.

Mother’s Day Traditions

Different countries celebrate some form of Mother’s Day, but they do it in their own way. In America, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending, and most people shower their mothers with gifts and flowers. However, in Ethiopia, people gather to sing and eat a feast to celebrate motherhood.

Mother’s Day is a wonderful holiday that celebrates everything mothers do for their children. However, this year, instead of buying your mom some flowers to show her you care, celebrate the original meaning behind Mother’s Day. Make your own sacrifice to celebrate your mom, such as doing a chore she’s been putting off or just spending the entire day with her.

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