All About Mother's Day
Have you ever wondered why Mother's Day is celebrated the second Sunday of every May? Do you want to know some things you can do to make Mother's Day extra special? Read on for the answer to these questions and more.
Did Mother's Day begin in the United States?
No. Long, long, ago, in ancient Greece, the people paid tribute to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, each spring. A little later in history it is noted that England paid homage to mothers on "Mothering Sunday," the fourth Sunday of Lent.
In 1872, Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) suggested the idea of Mother's Day, but it was Miss Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), of Philadelphia, who began a letter-writing campaign to a variety of influential people that made Mother's Day a national holiday.
Why did Miss Jarvis think it was so important to have Mother's Day?
Miss Jarvis was very close to her mother Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis. Anna's mother died in May of 1905, when Anna was 41 years of age. Anna was not married and from the time of her mother's death cared for her blind sister, Ellsinore. Anna missed her mother very much and felt that children should appreciate their mother's more while they're still alive. Anna hoped Mother's Day would increase respect and love and strengthen family bonds.
So when was the first Mother's Day?
In 1907 Anna persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year, 1908, Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.
In 1910 the first Mother's Day proclamation was issued by the governor of West Virginia. Oklahoma celebrated Mother's Day that year also. By 1911 every state observed Mother's Day. The Mother's Day International Association was incorporated on December 12, 1912, with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day.
When did Mother's Day become official?
In May, 1913, The House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mother's Day. Congress passed another Joint Resolution May 8, 1914, designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
On Mother's Day the U.S. flag is to be displayed on government buildings and at people's homes "as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country." President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making Mother's Day an official national holiday.
Many people give roses on Valentines Day, is there a particular flower I should give my mom on Mother's Day?
Miss Anna Jarvis's mother's favorite flower was the white carnation. This flower was chosen to represent the sweetness, purity and endurance of mother love. However, the red carnation has since become the symbol of a living mother while white signifies that one's mother has died.
Do other countries celebrate Mother's Day?
You bet they do! Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium celebrate Mother's Day on the same day as the United States. Other countries celebrate Mother's Day as well, though not on the same day.
What can I do to make Mother's Day special for my mom?
There are all kinds of things you can do to make Mother's Day special for your mom. Here are a few suggestions:
Make mom breakfast in bed.
Do secret acts of kindness, this might include doing one of mom's chores for her.
Do your chores, without being asked.
Get along with your brothers and sisters.
Leave a love letter, for mom, on her pillow.
Use our printables to make a heartfelt card.
Check out some great ideas to make mom a homemade gift or handmade card.
Spice up the Mother's Day festivities with an activity or two.
Interview your mother and/or grandmother. Ask questions about her birth, childhood, and what she did when she was a teenager. Find out favorite subjects in school, how she met your father or grandfather. Inquire about her favorite job. What were circumstances and events like when you were born? End the interview by expressing your love for her.
Get together with a few other families and play the Mother/Child Game. Divide into four mother/child teams. Ask the mothers to leave the room while the children sit in chairs. Ask the same four or five questions to each child about their mothers. Bring in the mothers and ask them the same questions. Will the mother and child have the same answers? Switch places and see how well the mother's know the children. Award a red carnation to the winning mother/child team.
Question Ideas: Favorite color, movie, candy bar, color of toothbrush, memorable moment with you, best friend, hobby, talent, food, animal, cartoon, pizza topping, ice cream topping, restaurant. Most embarrassing moment. Favorite holiday.