Rooted in celebrations for the mother goddess, the Greeks and Romans, the festivals were absorbed by Christianity and were re-labeled as observation of the “mother” church. Check the history books, and you will see that this practice of converting pagan observances into Christian holy days is quite common and even includes Christmas and Easter.
Mother’s Day in the US began around the time of the Civil War when Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia decided local women needed some guidance on rearing their children and began “Mother’s Day Work Clubs”. Post Civil War, these clubs aided in healing and reunification of the country and in 1870 a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was a call to action to unite for world peace. Reminiscent of “be careful of what you wish for”, Ann Reeve’s daughter carried her mother’s torch and as a result of obsessive persistence and collaboration with a department store magnate, Mother’s Day became a national holiday and resounding cultural success by the 1920’s. She then spent the rest of her life trying to rip it down due to the commercialism until her death in 1948.
Four fast facts:
- When are the most phone calls made? Mother’s Day is the answer with almost a 40% increase in traffic.
- Thailand celebrates on the queen’s birthday.
- In Ethiopa, families feast and sing.
- In Surrey England it is called: “Pudding Pie Sunday”. Yum!