History of Mother's Day
- Published: 12 May 2017
Fun fact: It's spelled Mother's Day instead of Mothers' Day to make sure the holiday is dedicated to your mother rather than all mothers.
Pre-modern Mother's Day
Mother’s Day, as in the honouring of one’s mother through a festival/holiday, goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals for Rhea and Cybele, the mother goddesses in their religion. The earliest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is “Mothering Sunday,” a Christian festival held in the United Kingdom and other European countries. Mothering Sunday in the UK fell on and continues to fall on (see below for which other countries) on the fourth week of Lent. Mothering Sunday, however, has a religious connotation which the modern Mother’s Day in North America does not have.
Modern Mother’s Day origin
You can thank Anna Jarvis and her love for her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, for the Mother’s Day we celebrate today. After Anna’s mother’s passing in 1905, Anna began a campaign for Mother’s Day to celebrate the sacrifices mothers make around the world for their children. In 1908, Anna organized the first Mother’s Day at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia.
Anna Jarvis did not stop there: she wanted Mother’s Day to be a national holiday. With a letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians, she urged that a day dedicated to honouring motherhood be implemented. Many states adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday before President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
As a note, in 1920 Anna Jarvis declared that she had become disgusted with the commercialization of Mother’s Day and would eventually stop celebrating the holiday and even lobbied the government to remove the holiday from the calendar.
Mother’s Day around the world
Here's an idea of when some countries celebrate Mother's Day. Indonesia is especially interesting, as Mother's Day is three days before Christmas, which about 25 million Christians in Indonesia celebrate. The following table is not an exhaustive list by any means.
|United Kingdom and Ireland||4th Sunday in Lent, known as Mothering Sunday|
|Most Arab countries||March 21|
|Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Spain||First Sunday of May|
|US, Canada, and 83 other countries||Second Sunday of May|
|France, Algeria, Haiti, Sweden, Madagascar, Algeria, Dominican Republic||Last Sunday of May|
ADLI Logistics wishes every mother out there a very happy Mother’s Day!
- "Mother's Day." Wikipedia. April 18, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day.
- History.com Staff. "Mother’s Day." History.com. 2011. http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day.
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