Mother’s Day is a day recognized around the whole world, to honor Mothers and Grandmothers in all walks of life. To be exact, it’s celebrated across 46 countries, and although the origin of Mother’s Day goes back to the ancient Greek era, it is also celebrated in the UK in the form of a “Mothering Sunday”. The actual day “Mother’s Day” was started by American pioneering woman, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis and despite it only being in existence for under 100 years, it has become a hugely popular celebration. No doubt due to the great value most of us recognize in our Mothers. What better way to pay tribute to our Mothers than with Special Mother’s Day Gifts.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans
The earliest history of this celebrated day dates back to the Greek annual spring festival which was dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of many deities of Greek mythology.
Ancient Romans also celebrated with a spring festival called Hilaria, which was dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess.
Early Christians also celebrated a Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers, and was called Mothering Sunday.
The more recent history of Mother’s Day dates back to the 1600s in England, where Mothering Sunday was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Lent is the 40-day period leading up to Easter. After a service in church to honor Virgin Mary, children brought gifts and flowers to honor their own Mothers.
Servants, apprentices and other workers staying away from their homes were even encouraged by their employers to visit their Mothers and honor them.
This custom of Mothering Sunday unfortunately almost completely died out by the 19th century, but fortunately came to be celebrated again after World War 2 when American serviceman brought the custom home.
Julia Ward Howe – History of Mother’s Day
Julia Ward Howe was the first American to suggest an official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1872. Julia was an activist, writer and poet and shot to fame with her civil war song “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Julia Ward Howe suggested that the 2nd June should be the day all Americans celebrate Mother’s Day and that it should be dedicated to peace. Julia tirelessly championed the cause of an official celebration of Mother’s Day, she wrote many appeals to woman urging them to rise against war, and she initiated a Mothers’ Peace Day observance on the second Sunday in June in Boston which ran for a number of years. Her idea spread and was welcomed, but was later replaced by the Mother’s Day holiday which is now celebrated in May.
Anna Jarvis – the Founder of Mother’s Day
Anna Jarvis is recognized as the Founder of Mother’s Day in America. Even though she never married, and never had children, she worked hard to bestow honor on all mothers, and in so doing, aptly became known as the Mother of Mother’s Day.
Anna Jarvis was inspired by her own Mother who was an activist and social worker, and who used to express her desire that someday somebody should honor all Mothers, living and dead, and pay tribute to the contributions made by them. Anna was a devoted daughter and never forgot her Mother’s words, and when Mrs Jarvis died in 1905, Anna resolved to fulfill her Mother’s desire of having a Mother’s Day. Anna worked hard to make this happen, and with her supporters help wrote letters to people in positions of power lobbying for the official declaration of the Mother’s Day holiday. Her hard work paid off and by 1911 Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost ever American state and a resolution signed by the president designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Today Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries such as US, UK, India, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, Belgium, South Africa any many more. People use the day as an opportunity to pay tribute to their Mothers and to thank them for all their love and support. The day has become very popular and some countries have noticed their phone lines experiencing maximum traffic on this day. Sons and daughters have been known to not only spoil their Mothers with special gifts, chocolates and flowers, but more importantly to take the time to either connect over the phone or make arrangements to spend some quality time with their Mothers.
So I encourage all reading this to either find that Special Mother’s Day Gift below, or at least contact or visit your Mothers on this special day coming up in May and honor them for all they’ve done for you over the years, and for their love and support of you.
Happy Mother’s Day!