Every second Sunday in May is Mother's Day. The tradition is that children surprise their mother with (for example) a breakfast in bed, homemade presents and endearing news. And the mother? You do not have to do anything all day, except of course enjoying everything.
Worship mothers through the ages
Mothers have been worshiped all over the world for thousands of years. A kind of mother days existed in ancient Greece. Rhea, the mother of the gods, was worshiped by the ancient Greeks. The Romans knew this festival as Hilaria and celebrated it with sacrifices in the temple of Cybele. Cybele of the Roman mother of the gods. But even the Christians already had a kind of Mother's Day. " They celebrated a feast in honor of the Virgin Mary. In 1644 there existed in England, the Sunday before Easter, 'Mother Sunday'. Many women worked (internally) as clerks in the richer class, often far from home. On this Mothering Sunday the servants had free to visit and honor their mothers. Usually they took traditional cake (Mothering Cake) for an extra festive touch.
The first Mother's Day
The first Mother's Day as we know it today was introduced in 1906 by an American woman, Anna jarvis from Grafton, West Virginia.
Anna's mother had eleven children, seven of whom died young. To 'forget' her grief, Anna's mother decided to dedicate her life to helping other people.
The mother of Anna, died in 1906 on the second Sunday in May. Anna was at the time of her death, with her mother. On the death day of her mother (the second Sunday in May 1906) Anna decided to organize something to honor all mothers. On the second anniversary of her mother's death, Anna celebrated the first Mother's Day in Grafton. She distributed carnations to the mothers in her church.
Also in Philadelphia
A year later, Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia. Anna found supporters and together they did everything to make Mother's Day penetrate other cities as well. They talked to influential people and wrote together more than 10,000 letters, including to the governor of West Virginia. And with success. From 1910 Mother's Day was celebrated throughout West Virginia. However, this was still not enough for Anna. She therefore presented her idea to the then president, Woodrow Wilson. He proclaimed mother's day in 1914 as a national holiday. Anna herself is never married and has never had children herself.
Julia Ward Howe
Another source mentions that as early as 1872 Julia Ward Howe wanted to introduce Mother's Day in Boston (America) as a day of peace. The successful company of Anna would elaborate on this initiative. Anna also tried in 1923 to ban Mother's Day again, because she found the commercialization of it terrible.
When do we celebrate Mother's Day?
Mother's day is celebrated in many countries around the world, but not always on the same date. Celebrating Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May is tradition in Denmark, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Belgium, America and the Netherlands. In Antwerp, however, mother is often also celebrated on August 15 - with Our Lady Assumption - (since 1913). In England Mother's Day is still celebrated on the Sunday before Easter. And in France it is Mother's Day on the last Sunday of May. Except when it falls on Pentecost, it is the first Sunday in June! In Spain, El dia de la Madre is celebrated on the first Sunday in May.
In the Netherlands Mother's Day is known by some as an initiative of Adolf Hitler. That is incorrect. It is true that National Socialism tried to connect the Mother's Day with the reproduction of a pure race.
Nowadays in America there is also a mother-in-law day that is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of October.
Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis died in Philadelphia, valued as 'Mother of Mother's Day'.
Anna Marie Jarvis died in West Chester, Pennsylvania, valued as the founder of 'Mother's Day as an international holiday'.
Around 1920, Jarvis became embittered by the commercialization of the holiday. She connected herself to the Mother's Day International Association and claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May. As a result, she was also arrested for disturbance. Together with her sister Ellsinore, she spent her family property campaigning against the public holiday. Both died in poverty. The death report from Jarvis in the New York Times stated that she became embittered because too many people sent their mother a printed postcard. She considered a card as 'a bad excuse because people are too lazy to write a letter'.