The History of Mother's Day
Discover the Origins of Mother's Day
Meanwhile, Anna Jarvis' Daughter
who had been born in 1866 and who was also named Anna, was regularly attending
Sunday school. In 1878, at the age of 12, Anna M. Jarvis heard her
mother teach a Sunday school lesson regarding mothers in the Bible.
The senior Anna told of how she hoped and prayed that someone would found
a memorial mother's day, pointing out that "There are many days for men,
but none for mothers."
The history of how the
modern Mother's Day began varies across the world. However, what
is agreed is that the origins date all the way back to ancient Greece when
the Greeks held spring celebrations in honour of Rhea, the mother of the
The first records of a modern
European Mother's Day come from 17th century England. At that time,
many of the English poor worked as servants in the houses of relatively
rich families. Most of these jobs were located at a considerable
distance from the servants' own homes, so the servants were given accommodation
at their employers' houses, and effectively lived with their employers.
On the fourth sunday
after Lent, the servants were given the day off so that they could spend
the day with their mothers. During these visits a special cake, known
as a Mothering Cake was often brought along as a gift, and to provide a
special festive touch. This became known as "Mothering Sunday", and
the mothers of England are still honoured on the fourth sunday after Lent
even to this day.
In the USA however, Mother's
Day is held on the second Sunday of May. The first seeds of Mother's
Day in the USA were laid in 1858 by a young Appalacian named Anna Jarvis,
who organised "Mother's Work Days" to help improve sanitation and to help
avert disease and death from polluted water and insect pests. She
also tried to establish "Mother's Friendship Days as a way to try to heal
the scars of the American Civil War.
In 1872, Julia Ward Howe from
Boston, Massachusetts, suggsted the idea of an annual Mother's Day, shortly
after the end of the Franco-Prussian War. She felt the war was a
return to barbarism which could have easily been settled without bloodshed,
and wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", imploring mothers across the
world to unite in the cause for world peace. Each year after 1872,
Julia Ward Howe held Mother's Day meetings in Boston to advocate international
On the second Sunday in May,
1907, on the second anniversary of her mother's death, Anna M Jarvis arranged
for a service to be held to celebrate Mother's Day in her mother's church
in Grafton, West Virginia. She was so moved by the service that she
and her supporters began a massive campaign to try to obtain offical recognition
of a nationally celebrated Mother's Day. After writing thousands
of letters to prominent businessmen, ministers and politicians (including
President William Taft and the previous President, Theodore Roosevelt),
Anna Jarvis was succesful in persuading the governor of West Virginia to
proclaim an official "Mother's Day" in 1912. The following year,
the governor of Pennsylvania did the same. Finally, in 1914, President
Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution of the US congress proclaiming a holiday
on the second Sunday in May of each year to celebrate Mother's Day.
Other countries across the
world now celebrate Mother' Day too, and although many celebrate on different
dates, some such as Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Turkey, and Australia
also use the second Sunday in May, in line with the USA.
Mother's Day continues to
be a day to remind us how our mothers care and love us, and to remember
to try to return that love in some small way, not just on Mother's Day,
but every day of the year.
You can show your mother you
love her with quality Mother's Day gifts
from a range of carefully selected sources. Piglette continuously searches
the internet by hand (or should that be by hoof?) to bring you the very
best quality flowers and gifts at great prices. Gifts have been our
speciality since 1998 so you can be sure we've got some great stuff to
introduce to you.
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