April Showers Bring May Flowers, and well probably even more showers as we live in Florida…but one thing we are always excited to celebrate in May is Mother’s Day. Whether you are celebrating or being celebrated, do you know how this day of Breakfast in Bed came to be?
We can thank a woman by the name Anna Jarvis, who in 1908 brought Mother’s Day to America, and in 1914 it was recognized as a National Holiday. Ironically, once it caught on and became very popular, Anna spent the rest of her life condemning the holiday’s commercialization even trying to remove it from the calendar. Wonder if she got one vacuum too many!
Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”
Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, their celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service.
Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom also eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.
While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated worldwide, traditions vary depending on the country. In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit. Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.
Happy Mother’s Day!