Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Week: The History of Mother's Day

Mother's Day has been around for a while, it seems, but did you know that as a national holiday it hasn't even been around for a century? A lot of people don't know about the origins of Mother's Day so I thought I would do some research on it. And wouldn't you know, I found a TON of information.

I created a little timeline to show you how Mother's Day developed in the world.

The History of Mother's Day

Ancient Times:
Fertility goddess statures serve as an early tribute to mothers and motherhood.

Early Egypt:
An annual festival is held to celebrate the goddess Isis, who is known as the mother of the pharaohs according to legend.

Early Rome:
The festival of Isis is adopted by the Romans, who used the holiday as a way to mark the beginning of Winter. This then developed to a celebration of Cybele, a Phrygian goddess also known as the Magna Mater (Great Mother).

Early Europe:
On the fourth Sunday during Lent, early Europeans began to use that day to celebrate their Mother Church (the church they were baptized in). It was common for churches to be decorated in jewels, flowers and other offerings.

Early 1600s:
A clerical decree is established, giving people the same day off of work to go visit their mothers. It became known as Mothering Day. It was considered a "break" from Lent, where mothers and their families held big feasts and gave their mothers gifts.

Early 1700s:
American settlers drop the Mothering Day holiday, most likely due to the struggles they went through with settlement or because it conflicted with their Puritan ideals.

1861 to 1865:
Civil War wages in America.

1865:
Anna Reeves Jarvis organized the first Mother's Friendship Day to join people together with the common goal of helping injured Civil War veterans.

1870:
Taking after Anna Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe organizes a Mother's Day Proclamation on June 2nd. It is a day joining mothers together with the common goal of helping out war veterans.

1887:
Mary Towles Sasseen begins celebrating Mother's Day.

1904:
In Indiana, Frank E. Hering launches a campaign for celebrating Mother's Day.

1905:
Anna Reeves Jarvis dies.

1908: 
Her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis, petitions her church to hold a Mother's Day in honor of her mother. The first official Mother's Day celebration takes place at Andrew's Methodist Church on May 10, 1908. Carnations, her mother's favorite flower, are given to each mother in attendance and decorate the whole church.

A Nebraskan senator, Elmer Burkett, proposes making Mother's Day a national holiday after a request from the YMCA is made. His proposal is denied.

1909:
In most states, Mother's Day services continued. Parts of Canada and Mexico participated as well.

1910 to 1914:
Anna convinces the World's Sunday School Association to back her, a key influence over state legislators and congress.

West Virginia is the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day as a national holiday.

1914:
President Woodrow Wilson signs a joint resolution declaring Mother's Day a national holiday, officially happening on the second Sunday of every May.

So....

Inquiring minds want to know, which came first Mother's Day or Father's Day?????

Mother's Day

Father's Day originated in the early 1900s like Mother's Day but wasn't made into a national holiday until 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

*****I would like to thank Mother's Day Central, Wikipedia and Simply Family for all of my information on this.*****

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