8 Things You Should Know About Mother’s Day

Did you know that the celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans? They held festivals to honor the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

Mother’s Day, the beginning.

  1. The earliest modern celebration of Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”
  2. American’s celebrate Mother’s Day the second Sunday in May. The holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. She helped to start the “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.
  3. In May 1908, Anna Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. The celebration was sponsored by Philadelphia department store owner John Wanamaker.
  4. By 1912 many states, towns and churches adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday
  5. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
  6. Mother’s day in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe originally fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church” (the main church in the vicinity of their home) for a special service.
  7. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.
  8. The ‘mother’ of Mother’s, Anna Jarvis, had no children.

Little Known Facts about Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge, and visiting one’s mother or attending church services.

The History Channel

Jarvis initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile. However, by 1920 she had become disappointed with the commercialism of the holiday. She publically denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards, and candies.

She openly campaigned against what she called Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists, and even charities. She also launched several lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day.” She even lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Mother’s Day Around the World

While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated worldwide, traditions vary depending on the country. For example, In Thailand, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of queen, Sirikit.

In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day is observed in the fall. Families gather to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.

Here at home, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers.

Featured Grants

In honor of Mother’s day, I shall feature an entire grant category. GrantWatch has a category of grants for women. In this category, you will find grants for female entrepreneurs, seed money to individual women, college grants for women, small business grants for women, enterprise grants, and grants for minority women.