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Mother's Day - Holiday Origins

Mother's Day is a holiday celebrating the hard work and commitment mothers have in raising their children to the best of their abilities. There were some past initiatives to have a day where every mom would be appreciated and celebrated, however the modern version of this holiday is from the early 20th Century.

Mother Daughter

When did people start celebrating Mother's Day?

The holiday created specifically to celebrate motherhood was established at the initiative of Anna Jarvis. It modernized various celebrations of motherhood that happened during the Cybele Greek Cult, the Hilaria Roman festival and many others. She first started celebrating Mother's Day in 1908, when she wanted to have a memorial for her mother at the St. Andrew’s Methodist Church from Grafton. This church has the International Mother's Day Shrine.

Making Mother's Day official was a significant challenge for Anna, since the US Congress had rejected the proposal to make it an official holiday. However, Anna Jarvis continued to talk with many of the United States representatives and by 1911, all states were aware of the holiday, and some started to recognize it as a local holiday. This all led to 1914, when Woodrow Wilson signed an official proclamation showing that Mother's Day would be held on the second Sunday of every May.

As soon as most states started celebrating Mother’s Day, the holiday itself quickly became commercialized, much more than Anna Jarvis ever expected. It went to the point where the holiday became more about purchasing candies, cards and flowers for mothers rather than genuine appreciation for them and their importance in our lives. During Jarvis’ later years in life, she disowned the holiday and lobbied to have it removed from the calendar.

Mother and Baby

Is Mother’s Day celebrated worldwide?

Not every country in the world celebrates Mother’s Day, or on the same date as the US version of the holiday. Thailand celebrates Mother’s Day in August. Some other countries celebrate it in March. There are distinct celebrations depending on the country and their own traditions. In Ethiopia, for example, families gather during the Fall to sing songs and enjoy a massive feast.

Grandma and baby

While Mother’s Day has evolved through the years, the core idea is still the same—Mothers are amazing! Mother’s Day is a holiday that allows us to focus on our Mother’s and Grandmother’s. It’s a day to appreciate mothers and to recognize the many challenges they face daily in caring for their children and helping them grow into decent, contributing members of society. Thank goodness for moms everywhere!

Moms and kids swimming


1 comment

  • Jet Jetson

    Great post! So grateful for the mothers in It lives! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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