Mother’s Day 2023 – Date, History & Traditions
Mother’s Day is a special holiday honoring motherhood observed in different forms all over the world. In the United States of America, Mother’s Day 2023 will be celebrated on May 14, 2023. The American incarnation of this special Day was created by Anna Jarvis more than hundred years ago in 1908 and later it became official holiday in United States. Anna Jarvis later denounce commercialization of this holiday and struggle to remove it from the calendar. While Mother’s Day is celebrated in different dates in various ways, but this special day traditionally involves presenting moms with special gifts, flowers, wish cards and many more.
History of Mother’s Day
Celebrations of this special popular day can be found back in the history of Romans and ancient Greeks, who celebrate Mother’s day in the honor of Mother Goddesses Cybele and Rhea, but most clearest modern precedent for this day is the early Christian festival which is known as “Mothering Sunday.”
Once a major tradition in England and parts of Europe, this feast fell on the fourth Sunday of Lent and was originally seen as a time for the faithful to return to their “mother church” in the main church near their homes. – for special services.
Over time, the tradition of Mothering Sunday became a more secular celebration, and children would present flowers and other tokens of appreciation to their mothers. This custom became popular in the 1930s and 40s before merging with Mother’s Day in America.
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Ann Reeves Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe
The origins of Mother’s Day in the United States go back to the 19th century. Years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves of West Virginia helped establish the Mother’s Day Work Club to teach local women how to care for their children properly.
These clubs later became a unifying force in a region still divided by the Civil War. In 1868, the governor organized a Mother’s Friendship Day, where mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers for reconciliation.
Another Mother’s Day initiative came from abolitionist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe. In 1870, Howe proclaimed Mother’s Day, a call to action asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873, Howe campaigned for Mother’s Peace Day to be celebrated on June 2 each year.
One of the early pioneers of Mother’s Day was activist Juliet Calhoun Blakely, who inspired a local Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan in the 1870s. Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering both worked to establish Mother’s Day in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some call Herring the “Father’s Day Mother”.
Anna Jarvis Turns Mother’s Day Into a National Holiday
The official celebration of Mother’s Day took place in the 1900s through the efforts of Anna Rives Rives, daughter of Ann Rives Rives. After the death of her mother in 1905, Anna Visarvis adopted Mother’s Day to honor mothers’ sacrifices for their children.
After receiving financial support from owner of Philadelphia departmental store “John Wanamaker”, she celebrated the first official Mother’s Day in May 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That day, thousands of people were seen attending Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.
After the success of the first historical Mother’s Day, single women with children for life decided to see the holiday added to the national calendar. She began a massive letter campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians demanding the adoption of a special day to honor motherhood, arguing that this American holiday is geared towards male achievement.
In 1912, lot’s of peoples in different states of U.S adopted Mother’s Day as annual holiday and Mother’s Day Association was also formed to promote this day around the world. Her struggle and persistence paid off when U.S President Woodrow Wilson officially signed an act in 1914 establishing the 2nd Sunday in every May to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Jarvis Decries Commercialized Mother’s Day
Anna Visarvis originally envisioned Mother’s Day as a personal celebration for moms and families. The version of the day involved wearing a white scarf as a symbol, visiting his mother or attending church services. But when Mother’s Day became an national holiday in U.S, it wasn’t long before card makers, florists and other vendors cashed in on popularity of this day.
Visarvis initially worked with the flower industry to raise the profile of Mother’s Day, but by the 1920s he was not interested in the commercialization of this holiday. He condemned the change and urged people to stop buying flowers, cards and confetti for Mother’s Day.
By the time Visarvis launched a campaign against profiteering of Mother’s Day, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also filed numerous lawsuits against groups using the Mother’s Day name, eventually spending much of her personal fortune on legal fees. By the time of his death in 1948, Visarvis had abandoned the holiday altogether and was even actively lobbying the government to see it removed from the American calendar.
Mother’s Day Around the World
Although variations of Mother’s Day are celebrated around the world according to different traditions by country. For example, Mother’s Day in Thailand is always celebrated in August on Queen Sirikit’s birthday.
Another Mother’s Day celebration can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather as part of a multi-day celebration honoring mothers who gather each fall to sing and eat a large feast.
In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated with gifts and flowers for mothers and other women, making it one of the biggest holidays. Families celebrate by giving mothers a day off from cooking or other household chores.
Sometimes, Mother’s Day also serves as a launch date for political or feminist causes. In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, Coretta Scott King, used Mother’s Day to rally in support of abused women and children. The 1970s were also used by women’s groups to highlight the need for equal rights and childcare.
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