THE ORIGIN OF MOTHER'S DAY
May 8, 2020
As Mother’s Day is this Sunday, we want to wish you and yours a Happy Mother's Day. In addition, we want to take this opportunity to look at the history behind this day. Many people believe it was started as Hallmark Cards wanted a reason to sell more cards. However, its Origin is way before Hallmark Cards.
The Origin began in 17th Century England as “Mothering Sunday”, the 4th Sunday in Lent. In these earlier times children who were away from home for either learning a trade or to work as servants to earn a livelihood were allowed to return home.
Gradually the tradition became that the family gathered for a mid-Lenten feast in which the Mother was treated as a special guest. Spending the entire day with their Mother, children brought gifts such as cakes and wildflower bouquets. Today Mothering Sunday is popularly known as Mother’s Day. In England it is celebrated in March.
Here in the USA the tradition started differently. Early English settlers disapproved of the secular holiday. However in 1872 Julia Ward Howe, word author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic came up with the idea of an International Mother’s Day. The objective however was to celebrate peace, not necessarily honor Mothers. It was Anna Jarvis, though, who pushed for a national celebration of Mother’s Day. After her own Mother’s death in 1905 Anna devoted her life to the establishment of this celebration and in 1908 the first official Mother’s Day was celebrated at a Methodist Church in Grafton WV, Anna sent 500 white carnations, one to be worn by each son and daughter and 2 by each mother in attendance. Finally in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared that Mother’s Day should be celebrated as a national holiday on the second Sunday in May.
Today Mother’s Day tradition calls for the wearing of carnations—red if one’s mother is alive or white if she is dead.