The Origin of Mother’s Day


THE ORIGIN OF MOTHER'S DAY
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The Origin of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a holiday today that sees sales skyrocket in florist boutiques and where phone lines burn across the world as people call their moms to wish them a happy Mother’s Day and tell them how much they are loved and appreciated. And even though Mother’s Day might even be a bigger commercial holiday than Valentine’s Day, this has not always been the way. But even the Romans and the Greeks that first celebrated this holiday did something special to celebrate their mothers.

Centuries ago, the Greeks and the Romans would offer different sacrifices every year to honor Rhea and Cybele, who were thought to be motherly figures to many different deities. These sacrifices would be made every year in the spring. It wasn’t long until the Christians started to catch onto the trend. They then started to use the festival of Lent to celebrate the virgin mother Mary.

England also soon picked up the holiday, although it was known as “Mothering Sunday” around Britain. At the time that England started celebrating Mothering Sunday, there were also many poor peasants that worked for the wealthy in their homes and lived there with them. On Mothering Sunday however, they were free from the duty of work in order that they may visit their mothers, which was something they often didn’t get the chance to do. When Christianity caught on throughout Europe, the holidays were combined together and known as “Mother Church.”

Even though the tradition of Mother’s Day started thousands of years ago, it didn’t come into the United States until 1872 when the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was written by Julia Ward Howe. At the same time of the writing, Howe also began encouraging mothers to fight against the war by letting their voices be heard and to offer peace to those whose lives were in upheaval. Shortly after that when the Civil War ended, Anna Jarvis proclaimed herself as a spokesman and a mentor for anyone who needed comfort and support after the war.

After Anna Jarvis passed away her daughter, also named Anna, wanted to honor her mother. But she didn’t want to just honor her own mother. She wanted to honor all mothers across the world. Anna was very serious about getting Mother’s Day instituted as a national holiday in the United States. First she started working with the church that her mother had been a member of. Once word has spread and people started liking the idea more and more, thousands of women and men across the country started sending letters to government officials about declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday. It started off state by state, with one state declaring the day and then another. After tons of hard work and dedication, President Wilson declared the second Sunday of every May as Mother’s Day.

But Anna soon regretted her decision to campaign so fiercely for this holiday. She loathed the commercialism that the holiday had brought about. And she despised seeing the holiday she commemorated as a special time to thank mothers, turned into a special way to thank manufacturers of gifts. Anna actually tried to sue a city who had held a Mother’s Day festival, and she was also arrested for disturbing the peace when she tried to break up a group of mothers selling war flowers.

So this Mother’s Day, treat your mom to a nice dinner and a bouquet of her most very favorite flowers. But more importantly than that, make sure you give your mom a big hug and tell her just how much you love her, and appreciate all the hard work she does. As Anna herself would tell you, that’s what the day is really all about.




The Origin of Mother’s Day

The Origin of Mother’s Day