A Word From Our Youth

History of Mother’s Day

By Emma Berger

Mother’s Day is a holiday celebrated all around the world. This year, for many countries, Mother’s Day falls on May 12th. For Mexico, El Salvador, or Guatemala it falls on May 10th. In South Korea they celebrate Parents Day on May 8th. Why in May though? And why does Mother’s Day, at least in the US, exist anyway? I’ll be honest, I hadn’t really thought much about it until now. But first, let’s talk a little bit about what Mother’s Day is.

Mother’s Day is the second Sunday of May. It’s a day where we all celebrate our mother’s because moms are awesome. Some people serve their moms breakfast in bed, while others might bake them a cake or give them a card or some flowers. And Mother’s Day isn’t just about your own mom, it’s about all those cool mothers around the world. If you’re one of those mothers, give yourself a pat on the back, you did, and you’re doing good. If you’re a child of a mother, give her a pat on the back as well, she deserves it!

Now let us talk about the histories of Mother’s Day, where it all began. It has been a thing for a long time, celebrating mothers. Like Ancient Greece’s festival that honors the Mother of Gods, Rhea. The festival would be held in March or April, and it would usually consist of parades, large parties/gatherings, feasts and flowers and fruits devoted to Rhea. The Romans also had a festival called the Hilaria Festival of which was dedicated to the mother goddess Cybele. Another festival was Mothering Sunday. It was a Christian festival, and Medieval Britain servants were allowed the day off to travel home on the fourth Sunday of Lent to spend the day with their Mothers. But all of that isn’t even where it really began.

Anna Marie Jarvis was born May 1st, 1864, into West Virginia. Anna adored her mother who tended to the injured people during the American Civil War. Her mother also later became a community activist. Anna’s mother died May 9th, 1905, and Anna fought to make Mother’s Day become an actual holiday. In 1910, West Virginia became the second state to recognize the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day. In 1914, President Wilson signed a bill that would make the second Sunday of May be Mother’s Day.

Anna actually petitioned to get rid of Mother’s Day after it became very commercialized. She even stated that a printed card just meant you were too lazy to make one yourself. Anna was even arrested for disturbing the peace during a Mother’s Day carnation sale. I’ll be honest here, one of the things I found most surprising about her was the fact that Anna didn’t have any children of her own.

In the grand scheme of things, I think Mother’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate all the moms around the world. I know my mom will be getting some breakfast in bed this year. If you’re a mom, good job!