Mother’s Day in the United States of America is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
This fabulous day especially dedicated to Mothers is celebrated with cards, chocolates and flowers. It is also a day when Moms everywhere are treated like princesses!
But only for a day!
Some people think that the day is an invention of the card manufacturers but not so!
Back in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day as a result of a protracted campaign by a woman called Anna Jarvis which she began in 1912.
Jarvis had campaigned vigorously for the date in May as her own mother had died around then.
She wanted to include all mothers in her celebration of her own mother.
Thus began the bonanza for florists, candy stores and restaurants! Not forgetting card stores!
Unfortunately, Anna was appalled at the commercialisation of the day and spent the rest of her life campaigning against this!
There is a lasting monument to this campaign in Grafton, West Virgina known as the Shrine to Mothers. There is also a museum on the site dedicated to Mothers.
In the UK there was also an upsurge in honouring Mothers too. However, there was a marked difference in the date. In the bible there is a passage, read out in church on the fourth Sunday in Lent, which declare that mother’s should be honoured. And thus it was that the UK celebrates Mothers on that Sunday.
But again, in the UK the celebration as a modern phenomenon feast was celebrated from 1914 onwards.
However, there was an earlier feast known as Mothering Sunday that was the root of the reason why the second Sunday in Lent was nominated as Mother’s Day. This root lay back in history when the visits by young children who were apprenticed or indentured away from home and who returned on that particular Sunday to visit their families. This was especially observed during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th Centuries in the UK.
Many of the British Colonies in the early part of the 20thCentury followed suit and celebrated Mothers also. In Australia, for whatever reason, they chose the same date as the US.
These days the Australians have created new aspects to the celebration. Many events are held that raise funds for female charities such as Breast Cancer Awareness and Cervical Cancer. This is typical of the outlook of the average Australian who sees tradition and puts a twist on it that improves it!
In Canada too they celebrate Mother’s Day on the same date as Americans. Their celebrations are much the same as those in the United States.
Much has been said down through the years about the commercialisation of the event. I have yet to see a mother who does not appreciate a bouquet of flowers at any time of the year!
But on that special day whether it be the second Sunday in Lent as in the UK or the second Sunday in May as in most of the rest of the world I defy any mother who says she has not need of flowers or a card on that day!
Some of us may not want chocolates but a low calorie bouquet of flowers is always welcome!