The second Sunday of May marks the special day we celebrate our mothers all over the world. Though we should always cherish our mothers or mother figures in our lives every day, the special occasion is a reminder that the spirit of loving our mothers is worth to be etched in a global calendar.
Since early pre-school, we have been taught by our teachers to prepare cards and hand crafted gifts for our mothers on Mother’s Day and as we have grown into adults, we traded those little gifts for grandeur hand bags, new television, an oven or even a car all as a token appreciation for raising us!
But as you hand your gifts to your mothers today, have you stopped to wonder what exactly is the story behind this joyous celebration of mothers?
The celebration of mothers can be dated back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. They hold festivals to honor the mother goddess Rhea. If any of you were interested in ancient Greek studies you would have read about the story of Cronus who ate all his newborn son as he was prophesied to be overthrown by his own male offspring.
In an attempt to end the cruel act, Rhea (Cronus’s wife) hid her newborn baby Zeus and fed Cronus a huge rock wrapped in cloth to disguise it as a baby. Because of Rhea’s motherly quick wit and intuition, Zeus grew up to be the god of lightning and the king of gods! (silly of Cronus though baby and rock also cannot differentiate).
Anyways, back to the history of mothers. LOL
A more feasible precedent of the Mother’s Day is the Christian festival celebration- Mothering Sunday. The celebration falls on fourth Sunday of Lent which marks the day when the faithful would return to their mother church (The main church in their neighborhood) for a special service. Over time it has become an occasion of remembering mothers with gifts from their children and increasingly being identified as Mother’s day.
However, the Mother’s Day that we know today. The one celebrated on the second Sunday of every May was founded by Ann Reeves Jarvis (No relation with Tony Stark’s assistant, Jarvis okay).
Ann was a homemaker and activist for peace whom in the mid-1800s had organized “Mother’s Day Work Club” to teach young mothers how to safely care for their children by practicing sanitary living conditions.
The effort to uphold mother figures role was continued by Julia Ward Howe a famous poet and reformer. She organized a “Mother’s Day For Peace” to call upon mothers to unite and in promoting world peace.
Fun Fact! Julia Ward Howe is also the author of the famous civil war anthem “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” which has since been adapted into other famous chants one of which is the famous Manchester United’s Glory Glory Man United! Try listening to a clip of this song and you’ll see the resemblance.
In 1905, Anna M. Jarvis, daughter of Anne Reeves Jarvis started campaigning for a national day to honor all mothers.
In May 1907, she held a memorial service in remembrance of her mother’s life long activism. The following year on May 10, a mother’s day service was held as the same church to acknowledge all mothers. Thus was born the idea of that second Sunday of May is to be set aside for to honor mothers living or deceased.
Her efforts gain mass attention and in 1914, United States President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that indicates that second Sunday in May is a legal holiday to be called Mother’s Day.
After Mother’s day gain popularity and had started to be capitalized and commercialized by florists, card companies and other merchants, she began to outwardly denounce the very thing she fought hard to get established.
“ If the American people are not willing to protect Mother’s Day from the hordes of money schemers that would overwhelm it with their schemes, then we shall cease having a Mother’s Day—and we know how. ” - Anna M. Jarvis
By the time of her death in 1948, she had spent all her personal wealth for legal fees on lawsuit against multiple merchants that had profited off the day that was supposed to be a sincere and heartfelt day of celebrating mothers.
Bleak ending to what was once a courageous and virtuous journey.
Mother’s Day Present Time
Regardless if you think Mother’s day has been capitalized or not, this special day is meant to be celebrated with chocolates, flowers, cakes and gifts and all things lavish! It is the only one day of the whole year that everyone from around the world come together to show their love and appreciation for the person we call Ibu, Amma, Mama or Mummy.
Hug your mother extra tight today, call her up to say I love you and thank her for all her sacrifices as with the calamities that we are facing today, we never know what tomorrow may bring.
On that note, watch this heartfelt video compilation of parents and their children answering questions on each other in this episode of Hello I Have Issues The Eternal Bond. Prepare some tissues, you have been warned!