- Dorothy, The Golden Girls
It's time so say thank you to all the beautiful mom's out there with this special annual day dedicated just to them! While the exact date varies from country to country, the most commonly recognized date on which Mother's Day is celebrated is the second Sunday in May. This includes major countries such as the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, China and Brazil, and this year will fall on Sunday, May 13.
But when did Mother's Day first begin, and how did it come about? To answer this we have to go all the way back to 1905 and discover a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis. Anna's campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the same year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died.
Anna's mother Ann had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started, and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world".
The modern holiday of Mother's Day as we know it was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Owing to the efforts of Anna, all U.S. states observed the holiday by 1911, and in 1914 a proclamation was signed designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers everywhere.
The current generation Mother's Day is now also one of the largest commercial occasions of the year. Many major retail, produce and hospitality brands experience one of their biggest annual sales periods, with cards, roses and chocolates being three of the most sought-after gift ideas.
In Western countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, serving breakfast in bed to mom has become a popular modern day tradition. In other countries, Mother's Day has significant religious ties. In Taiwan for example, the second Sunday of May coincides with Buddah's birthday, and both occasions are therefore celebrated on the same day.
Ultimately, however, and regardless of tradition, religion or commercialization, Mother's Day is most importantly a day dedicated to that very special woman in our lives. The one who was there through good times and bad, who was there to pick you up if you were down, and who will love you unconditionally no matter what happens.
As Ann Jarvis herself famously said...
"I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it."
In the end, the Mother's Day concept that both Ann and her daughter Anna worked so hard for became a reality.
I'm not sure about you, but I'm rather glad it did.
Written by Steve Connors
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