Mother's Day - A special day for mommies!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

The family
is like a garden
with joy
for all to share,
With tender, growing blossoms
that thrive on love
and care,
And when
the flowers are gathered
for a very special day,
They make
a bright and beautiful
happiness bouquet.

by Mary Loberg

This is one of my favorite poems describing a family and what it means to have a family. I got it on a beautiful card last year from my son!

I'll be celebrating Mother's Day for a the fifth time this Sunday!

However, it is particularly this year that I am really taking this actively in. Why? Well probably this year my son is also old enough to understand what each individual parent can offer him. As a mommy my love, affection and provisions for my son are different as those to what his daddy gives him. Sure we both are very eager about his well being and welfare and always have his best interests in minds. But each parent provides differently for their child.

This year I too am also understanding what it meant for my mum to raise me. I may not have been the easiest of kids to raise but I think she did a wonderful job. I am seeing myself mirror in Soeren in so many situations, that makes me open my eyes as to the efforts my own mother put in raising me.

All this made me curious as to where Mother's Day tradition actually originated from. So, began my little research. I wanted to share this with you as I know there are many mommies out there reading this today. Instead of gift ideas and card ideas, I thought it would be nice to go back to the roots and see where this tradition came from.

There really is a history to Mother's Day and it is not something invented in the meeting rooms of card manufacturer's!

Tributes to mothers can be traced back to ancient Greek times when their annual spring festival dedicated to the mother of many deities, Rhea, was celebrated. The ancient Romans made offerings to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. In the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday", which is celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent and honored the mothers of England. Mother's Day in England today is still celebrated on this day.

In the United States, Mother's Day actually started approximately 150 years ago, when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community. She believed this cause would be best advocated by mothers and called it "Mother's Work Day."

When Anna Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis, began a campaign to memorialize the life work of her mother. Anna is said to have remembered a Sunday school lesson that her mother gave in which she said,
"I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother's day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers."

Anna lobbied her cause to prominent businessmen and politicians including Presidents Taft and Roosevelt to support her campaign to create a special day to honor mothers. In 1908, one of the first services was organized to celebrate Anna's mother in her church in West Virginia. Anna handed out her mother's favorite flowers to the attending guests - white carnations. In 1914 Anna's hard work paid off when Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday.

Initially, people celebrated Mother's Day by attending church, writing letters to their mothers, and eventually, by sending cards, presents, and flowers. With the increasing gift-giving activity associated with Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis became enraged. It was her belief that the day's sentiment was being sacrificed at the expense of greed and profit. She even filed a lawsuit to a Mother's Day festival. Before her death in 1948, Jarvis is said to have confessed that she regretted ever starting the mother's day tradition.

Today, Mother's Day has flourished all over the world. In fact, many countries have their own specific day where Mother's Day is celebrated. Sons and daughters take advantage of this day to honor and to express appreciation of their mothers

How are you celebrating Mother's Day? Do you have special Mother's day traditions? Share these with us in our comments section. On Sunday we'll list the top 10 traditions in a separate post.

And for any daddies who might happen to read this post and have younger children: Mother's Day is on May 13th - that's this Sunday!!

Resources for this post:
Mother's Day - The Story
Mother's Day on Wikipedia

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This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?


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