Mothers Day

The Origins of Mother’s Day

The Origins of Mother’s Day

Today Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday is celebrated all over the world.



For florists and card shops the event is one of the highlights of the year, but the roots of Mother’s Day are not commercial.

Motherhood has been celebrated since ancient times. The ancient Greeks paid homage to Rhea, the Mother of Gods;

and there are records of the ancient Romans worshiping a mother Goddess known as Cybele as early as 260 BC. Festivals took place in the spring which was the most fertile time of the year.

The more modern way of honoring mothers began in England in the 1600s where Mothering Sunday was observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

This day is also known as ‘Refreshment Sunday’, the only day when you are allowed to eat or do whatever you have given up for Lent. Not surprisingly,

families came together and took the opportunity to party with a big meal at which mother was treated as the guest of honor. Traditionally, mothers were given posies of flowers and a cake.

The term ‘Mothering Sunday’ is now falling into disuse and has mostly been replaced by ‘Mother’s Day’, which is used the world over.

In the USA there were several attempts to introduce a Mother’s Day as a way to celebrate peace and heal the scars of war. Julia Ward, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic,



suggested the idea in 1872. But the idea didn’t really take off until Anna Jarvis campaigned for the establishment of a Mother’s Day to commemorate her own mother who died in 1905.

Ward’s mother herself had tried to establish a similar holiday, Mother’s Friendship Day, to heal the pain of the Civil War.

The first Mother’s Day in the USA was held in 1907 when Julia Ward held a ceremony to honor her mother. She then successfully campaigned for a formal holiday to honor mothers and by 1911 most states had taken up the idea.

This was followed in 1914 by a declaration by President Woodrow Wilson that Mother’s Day should be celebrated as a national holiday on the second Sunday in May. The idea quickly spread to Canada and Mexico and many more countries throughout the world.



The commercialization of Mother’s Day quickly followed, much to the disgust of Anna Jarvis who was arrested in 1923 at a Mother’s Day festival for trying to stop women selling flowers. Jarvis said “I wanted it to be a day of sentiment not profit.

Ironically Anna Jarvis campaigned for many years against the commercialization of Mother’s Day, the day she had worked so hard to establish.

Although she had no children of her own, each Mother’s Day Anna received hundreds of cards from all over the world. Anna Jarvis died in 1948.


A Look Back At Mother’s Day Celebration History

Celebrating Mother’s Day has been always memorable for almost everybody looks forward to this very wonderful day of their mother’s life.

The Origins of Mother's Day
The Origins of Mother’s Day

As a matter of fact, this is the day wherein everyone can express gratitude to their mothers for all the love and care that they have shown to their children.

Aside from that, this celebration gives more opportunity for children to give thanks to their mothers and at the same time, mothers will have the chance to experience a wonderful event of their life.

Through this celebration everyone are busy buying and giving precious gifts towards their mothers. Although we know that gifts are nothing and far from the fact the job of a mother is hard yet enjoyable.



But through this gifts also, mothers will feel special and loved. A gift symbolizes love and thanks-giving of all the efforts that mothers showed upon their children.

But come to think of it, have you wondered how Mother’s Day evolved and originate? Well, in this article you will know how it is evolving and explore the moment when was Mother’s Day come into existence.

According to early historians, the Mother’s Day was originated back to the ancient times during the annual spring festivity of the Greeks.

Indeed, this festivity gives honor to the maternal goddesses Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of deities in Greek methodology.

At the same time also, the Roman beliefs celebrated the spring festival called Hilaria in honor to Cybele a mother goddess. It is written that a ceremony was begun during 250 years ago before the birth of Jesus Christ.

In ways of their celebration, they have made Ides of March giving offerings in the temple of Cybele which was lasted for three days. They conducted games, masquerades and parades as their way of celebrating.

Up until the early Christians, Mother’s Day was typically observed during the fourth Sunday of Lent season in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.



It stated that in the placed of England, the holiday was expanded to include all mothers with this celebration. It was then famously observed and called as Mothering Sunday.

In the late 1600’s, England continuously observed annually this Mothering Sunday and children will buy gifts as well as flowers to give thanks to their own mothers.

However, during the 19th century, the Mothering Sunday was diminished. But after World War 2, it was celebrated again through the effort of American servicemen. As a matter of fact, they have used this occasion to sell commercial enterprises and customs.

Since it was believed that Mother’s Day celebration was given life through the effort of some American servicemen, it was also believed that Mother’s Day in the United States was suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872.

She was an American activist, poet and writer who point out that June 2 should be the annual celebration of Mother’s Day in dedication for peace. In fact, in her writings of Mother’s Day Proclamation, she encouraged women to rise and fight against war.

Although her idea spreads all throughout the place but it was a day of celebrating Mother’s Day was replaced from June 2 to May.



At present, Mother’s Day is celebrated usually during May in all over the world. People take this opportunity to pay tribute as well as thanking their mothers for all the love and support that they have rendered.

They have showered every mother of the world more love and care in exchange of their incredible job they portrayed.

Of course, there are series of activity that such country plans for celebrating Mother’s day. What is important there is that, they give love and Thanksgiving for all mothers in the world.


Throughout the Ages, A Celebration of Moms

The average consumer in America is planning to spend nearly $100 for Mother’s Day, most likely to shower his or her mom with gifts, flowers and candy. Mothers have been honored in this way throughout history.

The Origins of Mother's Day
The Origins of Mother’s Day

During the 1600s, for instance, England celebrated a day called “Mothering Sunday.” Traditionally, it was a day when children who worked as servants were given a day off to visit home.

They would bring special cakes to their mothers, who then would give blessings to their children. The custom was called “going a-mothering.”

Today, many countries around the world — including Mexico, China, Turkey, Finland and Russia, to name a few — have special celebrations to honor mothers. Here are some facts you may not know about Mother’s Day here in America.

In the early 1850s, Anna Reese Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker who never married, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community. She believed this cause would be best advocated by mothers and called the event “Mothers‘ Work Day.”



In 1905, after Jarvis’ death, her daughter, also named Anna, began a campaign to memorialize her mother’s work. She lobbied prominent businessmen and politicians,

including Presidents William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, to support her campaign to create a special day to honor mothers. She hoped Mother’s Day would increase respect for parents and strengthen family bonds.

The first Mother’s Day observances were in church services honoring the elder Jarvis in Grafton, W. Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. By 1911, every state held its own Mother’s Day observance.

Then, on May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.

As Mother’s Day became more commercialized, however, Jarvis became upset, and even was arrested for disturbing the peace at

a convention for a war mother’s group. Before her death in 1948, Jarvis is said to have confessed that she regretted ever starting the Mother’s Day tradition.



Most Americans are glad she did, however, and they have been thinking of creative and fun ways to honor their mothers ever since.

Whitman’s Chocolates, founded in Philadelphia in 1842, became one of the first confectioners to provide Mother’s Day assortments.

Its stores were crowded each year with people looking for just the right Mother’s Day assortment. Many chose its famous Whitman’s Sampler of fine chocolates.

Today, the Whitman’s Sampler remains one of the most popular gifts given on Mother’s Day, with one sold every 1.5 seconds in the United States. – NU


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