Mother's Day

Samara Scott on May 1, 2024 1:15:39 PM


Mother's Day is a time to celebrate and honor mothers and appreciate all they do for us. Celebrated on the second Sunday of May, this holiday has been around as long as the mothers it celebrates.

In ancient times, mothers were honored through festivals tied to maternal gods and goddesses, representing fertility, birth, creativity, and growth cycles. A festival held by the Phrygians (plus the Greeks and Romans) celebrated the goddess Cybele, known as the Great Mother of Gods. Durga-puja is still celebrated today in India, which celebrates the goddess Durga (associated with protection, strength, and motherhood).

Although Mother's Day takes inspiration from these ancient festivals, it is clear that our modern Mother's Day comes from an early Christian festival known as "Mothering Sunday." During the Middle Ages, those who had moved from their hometowns would return to their mother church for a memorable service on Mothering Sunday. Traditionally, sons and daughters would take on all the household duties and prepare a special meal on this day to celebrate their mother. 

Later, Mothering Sunday became a more secular holiday, with mothers receiving flowers or other tokens of gratitude before turning into the Mother's Day we know today in the 1930s and 1940s. Primarily credited to three women, Ann Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, and Juliet Calhoun Blakely are considered the Pioneers of Mother's Day.

Ann Jarvis helped start "Mother's Day Work Clubs" in West Virginia to teach local women how to care for their children. Despite our country being divided due to the civil war, she organized "Mother's Friendship Day," where mothers would gather with former soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Julia Howe wrote the "Mother's Day Proclamation" in 1870 as a call to action asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace. Later in 1873, she would campaign for a "Mother's Peace Day" to be celebrated every June 2nd.

Juliet Blakely inspired the first local Mother's Day celebration in the 1870s in Albion, Michigan. Which later became the Mother's Day we know today.



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