Mother’s Day, Celebrating Motherhood in the Modern World

Mother’s Day is a modern celebration honoring one’s own mother, as well as maternal bonds, motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in several parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father’s Day and Siblings Day.

The modern American holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Anna’s mission was to honor her own mother. Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.

Dates Around The World

As the United States holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures, the date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honoring motherhood, such as Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom or, in Greece, the Orthodox celebration of the presentation of Jesus Christ to the temple (2 February of Julian Calendar). Both the secular and religious Mother Day are present in Greece. Mothering Sunday is often referred to as “Mother’s Day” even though it is an unrelated celebration.

Ex-communist countries usually celebrated the socialist International Women’s Day instead of the more capitalist Mother’s Day. Some ex-communist countries, such as Russia, still follow this custom or simply celebrate both holidays, which is the custom in Ukraine. Kyrgyzstan has recently introduced Mother’s Day, but International Women’s Day remains a more widely popular holiday.

Commercialization

Nine years after the first official United States Mother’s Day, commercialization of the holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

It is possible that the holiday would have withered over time without the support and continuous promotion of the florist industries and other commercial industries. Other Protestant holidays from the same time, such as Children’s Day and Temperance Sunday, do not have the same level of popularity. Mother’s Day is also prominent in the Sunday comic strips in the newspapers of the United States, expressing emotions ranging from sentimental to wry to caustic.

Mother’s Day Gifts and Decor

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