Historical significance of Mothers day

Mothers day is celebrated on different days across the globe. In India, like in the US, it is observed every year on the second Sunday of May and hence falls on May 10th in 2009.

History of Mothers day is obscure and stretches back to the ancient Greek era where Rhea, mother of many Greek mythology deities was honored. Ancient Romans are also believed to have celebrated this day called Hilaria during the spring festival to honor Cybele, a mother goddess. In recent history, Christians began to celebrate Mothering Sunday in England during the fourth week of Lent as a tribute to mothers. Celebrations began with a church service to honor Virgin Mary and flowers and gifts were given by children to their mothers as a token of love.

Mothers day in the US started with Julia Ward Howe who started observing this day on June 2nd around 1870 to promote pacifism and disarmament by women. In those days, it was celebrated by women’s peace groups and a common practice was meetings for mothers whose sons had died fighting the American Civil War. Mothers day is believed to have been first celebrated in Albion, Michigan on May 13th, 1877. Folklore has it that Juliet Calhoun Blakeley stepped in to support and completes the sermon of an emotionally distraught Rev. Myron Daughterty, whose sons were publicly embarrassed by a local anti-temperance group. Blakeley’s sons were extremely moved by this gesture that they decided to pay tribute to her each year.

But the day gained wider recognition after 1907, when young Anna Marie Jarvis started celebrating Mothers day in Grafton, West Virginia, as a private ceremony in memory of her late mother. In the beginning, young Anna sent carnations , her mother’s favorite flowers to the church service. Later, she went on to promote this day to a national and finally an international holiday. On May 14th 1914 Woodrow Wilson, the then US President signed an official declaration stating the second Sunday of May every year as Mothers day.

Today, Mothers day is celebrated all across the world with children sending gifts, cards and lovely flowers to mothers to express their deepest love and gratitude.

Like Abraham Lincoln said, ‘All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother’.

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