In the United States, Mother’s Day has been attributed the status of an annual holiday that is celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May. This is the day to uphold motherhood and maternal bonds in general and also to honor mothers for their contributions to the society.
The American version of Mother’s Day finds its acceptance and establishment in Anna Jarvis’ campaign in 1907, although there have been previous attempts by others prior to Jarvis that have not seen the lights of success. Earlier attempts were also made to promote peace by means of honoring those mothers who had already lost or were put at the risk of losing their sons to the ravages of wars.
Background of Mother’s Day:
- Although the origin of Mother’s Day is often attributed to different people, it is commonly believed that the major roles to establish the traditions of Mother’s Day as prevalent at present were played by two women Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis.
- Some people opine that in the 1800s in the town of Albion, Michigan, a woman by the name of Juliet Calhoun Blakely observed Mother’s Day. Her sons not only paid tribute to her but also urged others in the locality to honor their respective mothers.
- Sometime around the year 1870 Julia Ward Howe propagated Mother’s Day. Her aim was to encourage opposition to war and violence amongst women and also promote disarmament. For about ten years this observance continued in Boston, albeit under the sponsorship of Howe. However, this faded post that.
- In 1907 Anna Jarvis held a Mother’s Day observance in memory of her mother in Grafton, West Virginia, and continued to promote wider acceptance of roles of mothers in shaping the society. She went ahead to form “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to improve health and hygiene conditions of the area.
- In 1908 Jarvis arranged a service at the Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in her town where hundreds of children joined in with their mothers. Today this Church is a National Historic Landmark and the International Mother’s Day Shrine.
- Jarvis’ efforts were supported by group of retailers who catered to women’s products.
- In 1934 President Roosevelt issued a stamp to commemorate Mother’s Day.
- In 2008, US House of Representatives voted to establish Mother’s Day as a National Holiday.
Date of Mother’s Day in the Next Five Years:
In United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May, each year.
- In 2014, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 11.
- In 2015, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 10.
- In 2016, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 8.
- In 2017, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 14.
- In 2018, Mother’s Day would be on Sunday, May 13.
The day is commemorated by expressing one’s appreciation for one’s mother, foster mother or any mother figure who has touched the heart to leave behind an indelible mark of love. It is a common practice to spend time with one’s mother on this day. Greeting cards are often sent along with gifts that may range from something as simple as home baked cookies or a date night with movies and dinner, to something pampering like a spa package or exotic like a sponsored vacation or expensive like a piece of precious jewelry.
The first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 had Anna Jarvis deliver 500 carnations, the favorite flower of her mother. Since then they have been associated with Mother’s Day celebrations. People often wear carnations on this day. Many religious services held on this day give away carnations to mark the occasion. Florists later came up with the idea of promoting to wear red carnations if one’s mother was alive; and white in case one’s mother was no longer living. They tirelessly promoted this till it became an accepted norm at the Churches.
Commercialization of this holiday began in the very nascent stage, and within nine years of its introduction such norm was so rampant that even Jarvis herself protested against it stating that this was putting into oblivion the true purpose of observing this day. Jarvis spent the rest of her life protesting against the abuse of the essence of this day, and in the process she spent all her inheritance. She was also arrested in 1948 while on a protest. However, all her efforts could not prevent the rampant commercialization. Today records state that in the United States, on the event of Mother’s Day, people spend about $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on gift items, and about $68 million on greeting cards.