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Honor Thy Mother

Matt Pettit

Matt Pettit

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Mother’s Day is a day for moms to relax and refrain from doing any work. This year Mother’s Day fell on May 10. But where exactly did Mother’s Day come from? Why is it in May? How do other people celebrate Mother’s Day?

In 1914, Mother’s Day became an official US holiday. It is a holiday that is celebrated in many different ways throughout the entire world.

In Ethiopia, large crowds of people gather in the fall to sing songs and enjoy an immense feast. It is what they call Antrosht, a day in which they celebrate motherhood.

Mother’s Day festivities date back as early as the ancient Greeks. The Greeks would host an annual spring festival to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology, according to mothersdaycelebrations.com.

Not only the ancient Greeks, but also the ancient Romans were among the earliest to celebrate a form of Mother’s Day. They dedicated their spring festival to Cybele, a mother goddess.

These festivals to honor Cybele began around 250 years before Christ! The celebration lasted for three days and included parades, games, and even masquerades.

However, the early Christian celebration of Mother’s Day took place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. On this day they honored Mary, the mother of Jesus.

England then expanded the holiday to include all mothers. It became known as Mothering Sunday.

During the 1600s in England, after attending Mass on Mothering Sunday, children would gifts and flowers to their own mothers.

Mothering Sunday celebrations faded out by the time the 19th century rolled around. Not until after World War II did the holiday come back into practice.

American servicemen brought the holiday back into existence. The commercial enterprises soon hopped onboard hoping to make a quick profit of the holiday expenses.

The Mother’s Day we know and celebrate today was founded by American Anna Jarvis. Jarvis was never a mother herself, but she worked hard to get mothers the recognition they deserved.

Jarvis was inspired by her own mother, to create Mother’s Day in the United States. Her mother passed away in 1905, and that was the major push that led Jarvis to create Mother’s Day.

At first, Jarvis started by sending carnations in the church service in Grafton, West Virginia to honor her mother. Since carnations were her mother’s favorite flower, Jarvis found them as symbolic of a mother’s love.

Jarvis then wrote letters, along with a few of her friends, to people in power. They pleaded for Mother’s Day to become a national holiday.

By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union. Then, on May 8, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in many different countries throughout the world. For example,  the US, UK, India, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Belgium all celebrate their own forms of Mother’s Day.

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