Happy Mother's to all of the mother's, living and passed, who bear the torch of motherhood.
Mother's day, celebrated in the United States the second Sunday of the month, is a time to set aside to bring honor to our mothers. The celebration can be traced back as far as the Greeks and Romans who held festivals to honor a pagan goddess Rhea and Cybele. The earliest Christian rendition of the celebration is know as "Mother Sunday"- originally as a festival.
It is said that the traditions began in the UK and throughout Europe and was originally a time when the faithful would return to their "mother church", and was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
The tradition, as many do, regardless of religious context, became more secular over the decades. These secular adaptations formed the sport, or tradition, of children bringing their mothers present , flowers, candy, and other tokens of their gratitude. The custom began to fade and was later revived with the "American Mother's Day" during the decade of the good music such as Benny, Gillespie, and the like.
The origins in the US can be traced back to the 19th century, around the Civil War. Ann Jarvis began the "Mother's Day Work Clubs" to basically teach children how to properly care for their children. Note: THe definition and application of "properly" during this time, had a different context then it does today...
These clubs began to form after a divided nation following the Civil war. Ms. Jarvis organize a "friendship day"" and gathered mothers with form Union and Confederate soldiers to celebrate "reconciliation". During this time of course the abolitionist and suffragette movements were moving into high gear. Julia Howe is contributed as the author of the Mothers Day Proclamation, and it was a call to peace begin with mothers. This was birthed into "mother's peace day" celebrated in early June.
Upon the death of Ms. Jarvis, her daughter following in her footsteps to bear the torch of celebrating the sacrifices that mothers made for their children. She gained financial support and organized the first Mother's Day celebration in West Virginia at a Methodist Church. The financial backer was the thriving chain of stores called "Wanamaker's Retail Store". This same day of the first celebration also brought thousands into Wanamkers in Philadelphia. Consider that the first mother's day sale and implementation of a retail/hallmark holiday!
The daughter remained childless her entire life and resolved to see the holiday made official on the US national calendar. The arguement was that holidays (and many other topics during this time period) were geared towards men and male achievement with little emphasis on the women who helped to make the men successful.
By 1912 the holiday grew in popularity and in 1914 Preside Woodrow Wilson signed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. The original intent by Ms. Jarvis was to have a personal celebration and help families take some time to celebrate their mothers. Her daughter continued the mantle recognizing how much her mother sacrificed for this passion nad helped to make it a national tradition. The day generally includes church services and the mothers being honored adorned with a white carnation.
While the daughter was proud of her achievement, by 1920 she was disgusted with the whole ordeal. The intent of the holiday was lost in the capitalization and commercialization of the holidays and the only people to benefit were corporations that produced candies, cards, and flowers. She urged people to stop buying these things and rallied against "Mother's Day profiteers". She died in 1948 and prior to her death spent most of her fortune in legal fees defending countless lawsuits against corporations that had misused the term "mother's day" and had separated herself completely from the holiday and her mother's legacy. An ironic twist to such a beautiful day.