Mother's day is this weekend! Sure, we all know WHAT mother's day is - the day we celebrate our Mothers (and their mothers, too!) and Mother-figures in our lives and society - but very few of us know the history behind this decades old celebration.
While there have been many celebrations honoring mothers and mother-like symbols around the world for centuries, we're going to take a closer look at the Mother's Day celebration most commonly celebrated in North America - particularly the US. Mothers day started in the early 1900s, and is usually celebrated in the springtime (either March or May - This year is May 10!)
The very first Mother's Day was celebrated on in 1908 by Anna Jarvis. She held it in honor of her mother, Ann Jarvis, who had died 3 years prior. To quote Wikipedia, "Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues."
Though Jarvis (the younger) was successful in inaugurating a new US Holiday honoring not just her mother but mothers nationwide, her joy soon turned to bitterness at the quick commercialization of what was intended to be an honorific holiday. Jarvis was so embittered that she tried to do away with the Holiday she once fought so hard to create.
As the Holiday grew in the US, it spread across the known world with neighboring and other countries adopting Mother's day into their Calendar. For Example, Mothering Sunday in the UK - which existed before Mother's Day's conception - now shares its day with Mother's day, although both holidays are not related. Again, in Catholic countries, Mother's Day was reassigned to better tie in with major events in Catholicism, particularly those pertaining to the Virgin Mary. Ex-communist countries, however, will remain loyal to celebrating the socialist International Women's Day (vs. the capitalism heavily associated with Mother's Day).
Regardless of the religios affiliation (or the lack there of), it is clear that nations across the globe can agree on one thing: Let's celebrate the Mother we all love. Be sure to get her a great present - Mama Nees A New Pair Of Shoes!