Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Story of Mother's Day

Mothers Day

Based on text from Wikipedia and web.


Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year because the day has a number of different origins.

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.

During 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.


The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic) after the American Civil War.She first suggested a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, MA, every year. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war.

In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors. In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after Mother's Day (and not before).


When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on 10 May 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Originally the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, this building is now the International Mother's Day Shrine (a National Historic Landmark). From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.


Please, feel free to leave your message for the Mother’s Day.


I wish a happy Mother’s Day and a peaceful and joyful weekend for all readers of this blog and your families.

2 comments:

voyager said...

may all mothers, grandmothers, and mothers-to-be reading this post have a restful day and a blessed year :-)
from Veritas Raymaker

Wildstar said...

a beautiful history of the day , Anna. Thank you for sharing it