How Mother’s Day came to be

Its Mother’s Day and today we celebrate all moms for their resilience and thank them for the unconditional love they give.

Every year this day comes along and all we know to do is celebrate it. But, where does it come from and who thought of such a novel way to celebrate the powerful women in our lives?

According to History.com, the modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as ‘Mothering Sunday.’

This was said to once be a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. This celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their ‘mother church’ for a special service.

Over time the tradition became a more secular holiday where children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation.

America’s official Mother’s Day came about in 1900’s, following the death of her mother in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived the day as a way of honouring the sacrifices mother’s made for their children.

Her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, helped start ‘Mothers’ Day Work Clubs’ which taught local women how to properly care for their children and she also organised several other events that would promote a kinship among all mothers.

It is said that Anna argued that holidays in the US were biased to males and started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honouring motherhood.

By 1914 a measure was signed by the president which officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

History.com also said that once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

Anna became disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized and outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies.

By the time of her death in 1948 Anna had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

In South Africa, the day is also celebrated and mothers reminded of just how much they are truly appreciated and loved.

  AUTHOR
Neo Phashe
Journalist

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