MOTHERS are an important part of the family. They cook, they clean, they tuck you in at night, and they care for you more than anyone else does. This fact was what pushed a certain woman to create Mother’s Day.
Throughout history, there have been celebrations similar to Mother’s Day, as we know it today, such as the Roman Hilaria festival, held to honour the mother goddess Cybele.
But the first “modern” celebration of Mother’s Day took place in 1908, when an American woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother at a church in her home town in West Virginia.
Jarvis first began the campaign to make Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1905, when her mother passed away.
Jarvis’s mother was a peace activist who had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War.
After her mother’s death, Jarvis wanted to carry on her work, as well as set aside a day in honour of all mothers, as she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone else in the world”.
In 1908, her first petition for Mother’s
Day to become official was rejected by the US government, but Jarvis was far from done.
She campaigned across the country for years, and by 1911 all states in the US had begun observing Mother’s Day.
Eventually, the US government gave in and then president Woodrow Wilson signed the bill that made Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914, to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May every year.
While most countries – including South Africa – celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day, there are many countries who celebrate it on different days, and in some it even ties with other holidays.
But no matter when or where it’s celebrated, they all have one thing tying them together...
Mothers are awesome.