July 22, 2024

Hankering for History

Hanker: To have a strong, often restless desire, in this case for–you guessed it–history!

History of Mother’s Day

1 min read
Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis

From Afghanistan to the United States and Argentina to the United Kingdom, Mother’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated in almost every country. The non-commercialized version of Mother’s Day dates back to the civilizations of ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The ancient Greeks had an annual celebration that was dedicated to honor Rhea, the mother of deities in Greek mythology.

Mother’s Day as We Know It

history of mothers day
Rhea, the mother of deities in Greek mythology

Jumping forward to the 1600’s, Mothering Sunday, created by the Catholic church in England, was celebrated on the 4th Sunday on Lent. Mothering Sunday was established to not only honor mothers of the children, but also the Virgin Mary. Mothering Sunday died off in the 1900’s, with the start of the current (and more secular) version of Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis
Anna Jarvis

The modern Mother’s Day was developed by Anna Jarvis. Anna Jarvis, with a little help from her friends, contacted elected officials in every state and lobbied to officially declare Mother’s Day as a celebrated holiday. All of Anna Jarvis’ hard work finally paid off because in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day.”

An interesting fact–Jarvis was never married and never had any kids. It seems ironic to be that the “Mother of Mother’s Day” was, in fact, not a mother at all!

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