A Historical Account of “Mother’s Day”: How Did This Concept Come into Existence?

Ilsa Z.

Mother's Day is an occasion filled with love, affection, and the warmth of family everywhere across the globe in May annually. This Day is observed in honor of motherhood, a sacrifice made by childbearing women. It is an overall representation of how if it weren't for mothers, there wouldn't have been many decent individuals. This year, Mother's Day will be celebrated in full spirit on 14th May 2023. It is not just a holiday but an internationally marked date on calendars globally to honor mothers and motherhood. 

Origin Tracing Back to Warriors 

The celebration and true spirit of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the rule of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Spartans and Athens and the Roman warriors were famous for their untamed bravery, courage, and extreme skill. It turns out that even though they were fighters and strong men who displayed no emotions, the Greeks and Romans held festivals and celebrations in honor of their mothers and the sacrifices a woman makes when she embarks on the journey of motherhood. 

Mothering Sunday 

To acknowledge and celebrate maternal figures, countries and states all across the globe celebrate Mother's Day on a Sunday every year. As for the Greeks and Romans, they threw feasts and held occasions for their goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but at that time, Mothering Sunday was not a concept. Most counties, including Canada, Japan, Brazil, America, Australia, China, India, Ireland, and a multitude of others, celebrate motherhood on the second Sunday of May. The reason behind it always being a Sunday involves convenience and also has a religious symbolism to it. Mothering Sunday was one observed on fourth Sunday of the lent as to go back to the mother church and is where mother’s day stems from.

History, Tradition, and Religion 

Celebrating Mother's Day on a Sunday allows most people to have the Day off from work, school, and other commitments, making it easier for families to come together and spend time with their mothers. Sundays are typically seen as a day of rest and leisure, providing an opportunity for people to focus on honoring and appreciating their mothers.

Moreover, it is convenient for families to take time out for each other on weekends. For Christians, it holds religious significance as Sunday is the Day for worship for Christians worldwide. Historically, Anna Jarvis, an American activist who campaigned for the recognition of Mother's Day, insisted that it be celebrated on Sunday, specifically the second Sunday of May each year.

A Journey Towards Recognition 

It was in May 1908 that women were officially recognized and celebrated as mothers. May 1908 marks the anniversary of the first Mother's Day that was ever celebrated. Anna Jarvis, after the death of her mother in 1905, was determined and persistent to get an official holiday and Day of recognition for women around the globe. She strived hard as an activist and secured an international Women's Day of recognition known as Mother's Day today. Anna not only protested for a holiday but also asked politicians for a properly specified day for it. As a result, we have Mothering Sunday each year declared by President Woodrow Wilson. 

Present among us or joined in spirit, nothing in this world compares the love, care, and sincerity of a mother to her child. We may officially celebrate mothers on a single day each year, but they deserve love, respect, and appreciation every Day for all they do for their children. After all, mothers genuinely are irreplaceable.

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