In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd Sunday of May. This day is meant to celebrate all mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and women who participate in a role of a mother in any form. The tradition was first thought of in America back in the 1800’s, when a woman named Julia Ward Howe organized a day that was meant for women to come together and discuss achieving world peace.
Julia was a preacher, reformer, writer, and poet who lived in Boston. The idea was that all women would take ownership of the role of mothers, finding ways to go about protecting their children. Further down the road, another woman named Ann Jarvis carried on this goal.
Jarvis cared for the wounded during the Civil War and preached about her desire for peace, organizing a mother’s friendship day in hopes of making it a tradition. After she passed, her daughter Anna campaigned by writing thousands of letters to people of important status (including President Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and former Postmaster General John Wanamaker). Because of these women’s efforts, the very first Mother’s Day took place in 1908 in West Virginia, where Anna persuaded sons and daughters to visit or write home to their mothers. She became noticed as the official founder of Mother’s Day in 1948.
Mother’s Day Worldwide
Different versions of this day have been adapted all over the world and the way that people celebrate varies by the traditions practiced by each country. For instance:
- In Ethiopia, families get together, sing songs, and enjoy a feast as part of Antrosht (a celebration that carries on for days to honor mothers).
- In Thailand, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the birthday of the current queen.
- In the UK, the celebration occurs on the 4th Sunday of lent, and since lent is not fixed, the date of Mother’s Day is always changing.
In England, Mother’s Day dates back as early as the 1600’s. England was the first country in the world to dedicate a day to mothers. The day was originally known as “Mothering Sunday”, where children visited their ‘Mother Church” (the church from their hometown) and would then bring flowers home to their mothers after the service. To this day, England continues to make a huge deal out of the day, and flower sales are always at their highest during this time.
Mother’s Day is also a major holiday in Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Peru, France, Serbia, Philippines, and more. There are mothers everywhere, and motherhood is not just defined by having given birth to a child.
Motherhood takes shape in many different forms, existing by way of the nurturing and care a woman gives to a young individual which helps them to learn and grow. There are some that may find Mother’s Day to be a bit difficult. This may be a couple struggling with infertility or a woman who has been waiting for a partner to come along that would make a good father.
But the purpose of Mother’s Day is to celebrate the act, the verb, the care that human beings give to others. Women who are dreaming of the day when they will have their own child still have found ways to share their mothering nature and contribute to communities every day.
You see, when you take a step back and think about where Mother’s Day came from, its purpose was always simply to bring people together. So this Mother’s Day, let’s focus on the good stuff. Mother’s Day is for all women. Take this day to give yourself and all of the other loving women around you a big high five.