Holiday History: The Story Of Mother's Day?

Find out the interesting origins of Mother's Day. Information on traditions, gifts and regional differences.

Mother's Day is now observed throughout the United States and in some other countries as well. It took some time and alot of effort to make it the holiday that it is today. It is a special day in which every child, young and old, is supposed to honor their mothers. The original concept for the day was that all mothers are supposed to be honored, whether they were living or gone.

The roots of the traditional Mother's Day dates back to the spring celebrations in acient Greece in honor of Rhea, wife of Cronus, the Mother of all of the gods and goddesses. It evolved later into a day called Mothering Sunday which was celebrated in England. It was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Yet to spread to the United States, this special holiday evolved yet again as a religious time in which it was used to honor the Mother Church.

Finally, in the year of 1872, in the United States, Julia Ward Howe suggested that a Mother's Day be held in the states. Not much came of that until a woman named Anna Jarvis came along. She was a spinster who was completely devoted to her mother, Anna Reese Jarvis. After the death of her mother in 1905, the younger Anna was left to care for her blind sister who was named Elsinor. Then, in 1907, Anna Jarvis stated a campaign with the help of friends and neighbors to have an official day declared as Mother's Day. She thought that having an official day, in which mothers around the United States would be honored, would help for children to honor their mothers and to appreciate them, especially while they were still alive.

The next year, in 1908, Anna organized a church service to honor her late mother. She made sure to take red carnations, which were her mother's favorite flower, to the church for the special service. She then persuaded the church to continue holding a Mother's Day observance on the second Sunday of every May. She and her followers continued to campaign, and by the end of the next year, Pennsylvania was observing this holiday. In the year of 1911, this holiday honoring mothers had become so popular that it was celebrated in many more states, too. Finally, two years later, in May of the year 1913, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution that requested that the President and all other officials of the federal government wear a carnation on Mother's Day.

Finally, in the year of 1914, then-President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that Mother's Day was a national holiday and that it would be observed on the second Sunday of every May. It has been observed ever since, year after year, without fail.

Through much hard work and dedication, Anna Jarvis finally realized her goal of making a day that would honor mothers everywhere. Her goal went further than the United States, as Mother's Day is now celebrated in other countries too, such as Japan, China, Canada, and Mexico.

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