How Mother’s Day got started

She is your first love, first confidante, teacher and sounding board.

There will never be another in your life quite like your mother, whether you are fifteen or fifty.

Since mothers are so special, most of us go all out to celebrate our mothers, whether they live with us, in another parish or country.

We all know the importance of the day but many do not know the history of it so we sought to shed some light as to how and why it began.

Mother’s Day celebration is centuries old and may have its origin in ancient Greece, where people made a pilgrimage to Rhea, the Mother of all the Gods.

By the 1600s, Roman Catholics in England sought to honour Mary, Jesus’ mother and this later expanded to include all mothers and was called ‘Mothering Sunday’, held just before Easter.

Servants were given the day off to go home and spend it with their mothers and a special cake was created called the mothering cake.

With the passage of time, this tradition slowly died and with many British people moving to the new colony the United States, the tradition in that form, faded away.

Fast forward to the modern day interpretation of Mother’s Day and we can thank American Anna Jarvis for this.

She worked hard to organise the first staging in 1909 with a public memorial in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia, to celebrate her own mother who passed three years prior. Five years later President Woodrow Wilson made it an official holiday. Jarvis was initially unhappy with how the celebration was rolled out across America.

In the beginning, she sought to work with renowned florists to use the white carnation as the symbolic flower for Mother’s Day, but soon realised that other florists wanted in on the scheme for their own economic agenda and it became a commercialised free-for-all, with candy and card makers cashing in on the day.

This greatly upset Jarvis, as she felt it defeated the purpose of recognising the awesome relationship and connection shared between a mother and her children.

If you look at how commercialised it has become globally, Jarvis maybe rolling in her grave, but she could probably be placated to know that at the end of the day, any way or means a child uses to honor the giver of life is a blessing.