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Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there!

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there!

Emily Esneault, Writer

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Mother’s Day is a day where we honor our mothers. The American Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and it became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis, in her later life, would try to have this holiday removed from the calendar. Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second of May and it traditionally involves children/fathers gifting mothers with flowers and chocolates.

 

Celebration of motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of their mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as, “Mothering Sunday.” Over time, Mother’s Day began to evolve into the holiday that is known today. According to History, “More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.”

 

The origins of Mother’s Day as celebrated in the U.S. dates back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mother’s Day work clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. Another harbinger to Mother’s Day came from a suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870, Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call that asked mothers to unite and promote world peace.

 

The official Mother’s Day holiday rose in the 1900’s as a result of the efforts by Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s death, Anna Jarvis began to develop Mother’s Day as a way to honor the sacrifices that mothers make for their children. Jarvis, who remained unmarried and childless her whole life wanted Mother’s Day to be on the calendar. She argued that American holidays were biased towards male achievements. So, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians encouraging a special day where we honor mothers.

 

While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated worldwide, traditions are different in some countries. In Thailand, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit. In our country, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers, and it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Families also celebrate by giving mothers a day off of chores. At times, Mother’s Day has also been a date for launching political or feminist causes. In 1968, Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., used Mother’s Day to host a march in support of underprivileged women and children. In the 70s, women’s groups also used the holiday as a time to highlight the need for equal rights and access to childcare.

 

Sources

History

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Mother’s Day