Why have a particular day to tell your mother that you love her and respect her, some of us might ask.

Why indeed? We could do that everyday.

Right. We could.

But, do we?

So, is it such a bad idea to have a day to honour mothers? After all, we have specific days to honour freedom fighters, leaders or other heroes. And mothers are no less than heroes, considering the amount of effort they put into making their children’s lives a bit more easy and happier. Perhaps some of us may remember this the rest of the year as well.

Why Mother's Day? []
Why Mother’s Day? []

The idea of Mother’s Day has existed in some form or the other for a long time. Ancient Greeks used to celebrate the beginning of spring by honouring Rhea, the mother of the Gods.

Four hundred years ago, the English celebrated a festival called “Mothering Sunday” just before Easter, one of the most important festivals for Christians. On this day, women who worked as servants in the houses of the rich, were given a holiday. They could return to their homes and spend the day with their mothers. In other words, on that day, they were mothered. A special cake, called the Mothering Cake was also made on that day.

But, what we know as Mother’s Day today, began less than a 100 years ago. It was started by Ann Jarvis, who lived in Philadelphia in the United States.
When her mother, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, died in 1905, Ann wanted to do something for her. She decided to create a special day to keep the memory of her mother alive. On her mother’s second death anniversary, she asked her mother’s church in Grafton in West Virginia, to celebrate Mother’s Day. It was the second Sunday in May. Many people came for the celebration.

Then, Jarvis asked the American government to declare the second Sunday in May a holiday to honour mothers. Her wish was granted. And, in 1910, West Virginia became the first state to mark Mother’s Day. A year later, nearly every state in the US had a Mother’s Day holiday. And in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be observed on the second Sunday of May.

This is where the story becomes interesting. Thirteen years later, in 1923, Jarvis filed a case to stop the Mother’s Day festival. She felt that the feeling with which she had started the festival, had gone. Now companies were more interested in using Mother’s Day to make profits.

When Jarvis died at the age of 84 in 1948, she was very unhappy. Never a mother herself, she had spent the entire fortune her mother had left her in trying to stop the festival she had founded. And, just before her death, she told a reporter that she was sorry she had ever started Mother’s Day. She did not succeed in bringing a stop to the festival she had started.

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in various countries across the world. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium also celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day as the United States, on the second Sunday in the month of May. And, now even Indians are celebrating Mother’s Day on the same day.

So, if you want to make a card for your mother on Mother’s Day, why don’t you learn how to make some interesting ones from our activities section.

579 words | 5 minutes
Readability: Grade 6 (11-12 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: festivals
Tags: #united states, #heroes, #virginia, #festivals, #holiday

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