Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day History

In 1907, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), a Philadelphia schoolteacher, began a movement to set up a national Mother's Day in honor of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She solicited the help of hundreds of legislators and prominent businessmen to create a special day to honor mothers. The first Mother's Day observance was a church service honoring Anna's mother. Anna handed out her mother's favorite flowers, the white incarnations, on the occasion as they represent sweetness, purity, and patience. Anna's hard work finally paid off in the year 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday in honor of mothers.

Slowly and gradually the Mother's day became very popular and gift giving activity increased. All this commercialization of the Mother's day infuriated Anna as she believed that the day's sentiment was being sacrificed at the expense of greed and profit.

Regardless of Jarvis's worries, Mother's Day has flourished in the United States. Actually, the second Sunday of May has become the most popular day of the year. Although Anna may not be with us but the Mother's day lives on and has spread to various countries of the world. Many countries throughout the world celebrate Mother's Day at various times during the year, but some such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.


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