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History of Mother's Day Around The World

History of Mother's Day Around The World

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Celebrate knowing the history of Mother's Day

Dive into the history of Mother's Day, and you'll see that this special day celebrating moms is more than just brunches, flowers and Mother's Day candy. The origin of Mother's Day takes us around the world to ancient Greece, and to a tiny Appalachian town in the United States. Learning the facts about Mother's Day will enhance appreciation of this worldwide holiday and provide context for those great Mother's Day gifts you're giving this year. Give Mother's Day candy, a big bouquet of flowers, and make those brunch reservations knowing the long path that finally led to our modern Mother's Day.

The history of Mother's Day can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who held celebrations in spring to honor Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, according to Timeanddate.com.1 Centuries later, another origin of Mother's Day occurred in the United Kingdom, which began observing Mothering Sunday. The facts about Mother's Day reveal that Mothering Sunday was a day set aside for citizens to visit the church where they were baptized, and this often involved trips to the country to childhood homes. As you choose which Mother's Day candy to present to your mom, remember these humble beginnings of the holiday that would eventually become our national Mother's Day.

Our history of Mother's Day in the United States is the result of the hard work of several women throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. One step toward the origin of Mother's Day as a national holiday occurred in 1858, when, according to the National Women's History Project, Anna Jarvis, "a young Appalachian homemaker," organized Mother's Work Day Clubs to help improve sanitation and "avert deaths from disease-bearing insects" in her small West Virginia town.2 Exploring the facts about Mother's Day, also find another momentous year, 1872, when New England women's suffragist Julia Ward Howe established a special day to honor mothers and world peace. Nibble some Mother's Day candy as you realize the contributions of both these women toward the holiday that's observed now every second Sunday in May.

The history of Mother's Day in America took another turn in 1905, after the death of Anna Jarvis, when her daughter, also named Anna, vowed to "to memorialize her mother's lifelong activism," note the historians at the NWHP.3 Young Anna pushed the origin of Mother's Day forward, campaigning for a national holiday, inspired by her mother's community work and the many Bible lessons she remembered her mother teaching in Sunday school. One of the fascinating facts about Mother's Day is that Anna wrote a constant stream of letters to powerful businessmen and legislators, including both Presidents Taft and Roosevelt. Celebrate this fact with Mother's Day candy: finally, on May 8th of 1914, Congress passed a Mother's Day resolution declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, and the following day President Wilson issued the proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day.4

1 http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/mother-day
2 http://www.nwhp.org/news/history_of_mothersday.php
3 http://www.nwhp.org/news/history_of_mothersday.php
4 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/woodrow-wilson-proclaims-the-first-mothers-day-holiday
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