Carnation, the traditional flower for Mother's Day.
Day, Muttertag, La Festa della Mamma, Mothering Sunday, Fête
des Mères, Día de las Madres... it goes by many
different names, but however you say it, the expression of love
and appreciation is the same.
has always been celebrated. In prehistoric tribes the mother
Goddess was worshiped as the creator of life. Female goddess
figures are found in many archeological digs.
Egypt, Isis was the Queen of Heaven who ruled over all matters
concerning mothering. In ancient Greece Rhea was revered as
the mother goddess and in ancient Rome it was Hera, the jealous
wife of Zeus, and another mother goddess known as Cybele.
festivals in early history were in the springtime to celebrate
the rebirth of the land and the beginning of the most fertile
time of the year. These festivities honored the goddess in all
version of Mother's Day with families bringing Mother's
Day flowers and gifts to their moms can be traced back to
seventeenth century England. Mothering
Sunday was the fourth Sunday in Lent...a special day when
all the strict rules about fasting and penance were put aside. Older
children who were away from home learning a trade or working
as servants were allowed to return home for Mothering Sunday.
The family gathered for a mid-Lenten feast with Mother as the
special guest. Along with a rare visit from her children, mothers
were given treats of cakes and wildflower bouquets. While Mothering
Sunday' is still celebrated, most now know it as Mother's
of Mother's Day in the rest of the world is a bit different.
In the USA, the early English settlers often disapproved of
the more secular holidays and the Mothering Sunday tradition
never really took hold. Early attempts to have a day to honor
mother's were mixed with woman's suffrage and peace movements
and were not very popular.
Ward Howe, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the
Republic, suggested the idea of an International Mother's day
to celebrate peace and motherhood in 1872. There were many other
women who were active with local groups holding annual Mother's
Day remembrances, but most were more religious gatherings and
not the holiday that we know today.
Julia Ward Howe first championed a day to
celebrate peace and motherhood in 1872.
One of the
women, who was working on establishing Mother's Day as a national
celebration was the mother of Anna
Jarvis. Mrs. Jarvis held an annual gathering, Mother's
Friendship Day, to heal the pain of the Civil War. After she
died in 1905, Anna campaigned for the establishment of an official
Mother's Day to commemorate her mother.
Anna Jarvis was as good as her word. She devoted her entire
life to the struggle to have Mother's Day declared a national
holiday. In the spring of 1908, Anna wrote to the Superintendent
of Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, where
her mother had taught Sunday School classes for over 20 years.
She requested that a Mother's Day service be held in honor of
first official Mother's Day celebration was held at Andrew's
Methodist Church on May 10, 1908, with 407 persons in attendance.
Anna Jarvis sent 500 white carnations to the church in Grafton.
One was to be worn by each son and daughter and two by each
mother in attendance.
service was held in Philadelphia later that afternoon where
Anna resided with her brother. Anna had requested that the first
official service be held in Grafton, where the Jarvis family
had lived so much of their lives and where her mother had served
for so long as a teacher and public servant." ( Mother's
campaign is the reason we have a formal holiday. In 1914 President
Woodrow Wilson declared that Mother's Day should be celebrated
as a national holiday on the second Sunday in May.
The history of mothers day - a tribute to activist mothers from the past and present.
It didn't take very long for Mother's Day to change from a semi-religious
occasion of prayers for peace and appreciation of the work and
love of mothers around the world to a gifts, flowers, candy
and dining out extravaganza. Anna Jarvis was actually arrested
at a Mother's Day festival while trying to stop women from
selling flowers. Jarvis said I wanted it to be a day of
sentiment not profit.
Day may not have turned out to be the holiday that Julia Ward
Howe, Anna Jarvis and countless other women around the world
imagined, but it is a celebration of mothers...dedicated to
honoring the women who give so much to their families without
asking for anything in return. Perhaps every day should be Mother's
Day, but most families are too busy with everyday business to
say thank you for every meal or every good night kiss.
year, the world stops being busy and says thank you. Flowers,
cards and gifts are just the outward signs. What mothers love
most is the fact that their families really do notice all that
they do and for one day every mom is queen for a day...