Thursday, September 21, 2017
Mother’s Day Recognized
By Cheryl Tillman Lee
Published May 10, 2010

Young girls giving hugs to their mom.

Mother’s Day Recognized


The 2nd Sunday in May is Mother’s Day, a time when the Lady of the house gets unusual attention and is queen for a day.

In most countries, Mother’s Day is a new concept copied from western civilization.

In many African countries, the idea of Mother’s Day has its origins in copying the British concept, although there are many festivals and events celebrating mothers within the many diverse cultures on the African continent that have been there centuries before the colonials arrived.

In most of East Asia, Mother’s Day is a heavily marketed and commercialized concept copied straight from Mother’s Day in the USA. The United States celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.

In the U.S. Mother’s Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. It was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother’s Day for Peace.

Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858 had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers’ Work Days, influenced her idea. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better conditions and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.

In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after Mother’s Day, and not before.

When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter named Anna Jarvis started the crusade to fund a memorial day for women.

The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine. From there, the custom caught on spreading eventually to 45 states.

The holiday was declared official by some states beginning in 1912.

In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in the war.

Nine years after the first official Mother’s Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become.

Mother’s Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.

In welcoming Mother’s Day, which might include a special ingathering with family and friends, you will certainly want to make it her special day.

Categories: News (Family)

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