History of Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed forms throughout the world and always occurs on the second Sunday of May. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. This years mothers day will be on Sunday, May the 12th but it is celebrated on various days on many parts in the world most commonly in the months of March or May, like in Norway it is on the second Sunday of February . But founder Jarvis herself regretted this and expressed views of how that was never her intention then later tried removing it from the calendar but she didn’t . Today people all over the world celebrate it presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts for mothers all over the world.

Celebrations of Mother’s Day can be traced back to the ancient Greek and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian Festival known as “Mothering Sunday“. Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen at the time when the faithful would return to their “Mother Church”-the main church in the vicinity of their home-for a special service. Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children presented their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded into popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s. This would become the famous holiday we know as Mothers Day.

Anna Jarvis was the daughter of Anna Reeves Jarvis but when she died in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial background from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia and thousands of people attended event at one of Wanamaker’s stores in Philadelphia. After the success of the first Mother’s Day, Jarvis who remained unmarried and childless her whole life, she was resolved to see her holiday on the national calendar and arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of the day to honor motherhood. By 1912 many states, towns, and churches had adopted mother’s day as an annual holiday and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day international association to help promote her cause .Then it paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday as Mother’s Day.

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