Mother’s Day is calendar-marked for most of us. You make plans, buy gifts, wrap them, and even manage the surprise. No matter what age you are, it is no easy task to impress mom.
But what started this iconic day of celebration? Today, we are going to explore its little-known history before the commercialization of this thoughtful day.
Since we are such fans of trivia (just like you), we did some digging to get you the backstory. There are a couple of different versions actually.
Keen to find out? Let’s take a look:
Mother’s Day started as an Anti-War Movement in America
The origin of Mother’s Day is rooted deeply in its antiwar origins. Julia Ward Howe had called together a day for the women of the world to unite and commemorate in 1872 to protest against wars as a means of conflict resolution. She was deeply moved by the horrors of the Civil War in America and wanted women to find the respite from it.
While we celebrate it as a day of gratitude towards mothers today, its history is truly inspiring and stands testimony to the willpower of women and their stance against violence.
The story of Anna Jarvis
Mother’s Day as we understand it now, started in the early 1900s. Anna Jarvis, a woman from Grafton, West Virginia had started a campaign in 1905 to celebrate an official holiday that honored mothers, after losing her mother in the same year. However, it took her three years before she could actually celebrate it on a large scale by organizing a public memorial in her town.
She campaigned heavily to have the day recognized as an official holiday as more and more US states started celebrating the occasion. Her efforts finally came to fruition in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day as official in the United States of America, to be observed on the second Sunday of May.
Anna Jarvis had always campaigned for Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate women and the sacrifices they make for their children. She wanted the day to be an opportunity to express the love and gratitude that people had for their mother’s, which is why she chose the singular possessive form marked by the apostrophe before the “s”.
The idea was to provide a day for every individual to celebrate their own mothers, so that women around the world could feel loved even among general celebrations.
However, Anna Jarvis was soon disheartened with the way the day was being celebrated even after its official recognition by President Wilson. During her campaign to commemorate the day, she had teamed up with florists and even recommended a white carnation as its symbolic flower.
But she soon started observing that florists, candy companies, card companies, and even charities used Mother’s Day to earn more money. According to her, this commercialization had defeated the point of the holiday which was to celebrate an individual’s personal connection with their mothers.
Respecting Anna’s effort and to keep the spirit of this day alive just the way its original founder would have wanted – with love and the little things that matter, we have put together a special contest for Mother’s Day.
To celebrate this special bond and to make it special for your mom , upload pictures of any of these activities in the comments section below:
1. A DIY Mother’s Day card made solely by you (unless you have siblings)
2. A lavish cooked meal (by you) for the first lady of your life
3. Pictures of your best memories with Mom
You can send us all three or just one. The idea is to celebrate the holiday in its true form.
To participate, follow us on Instagram at @geradevelopments and drop your pictures in the comments below the Mother’s Day contest post with the hashtag #MothersDayWithGera. We have a surprise for the picture we like the best!
If you enjoyed reading this blog, we also suggest you read 10 Tips for Parents to Keep Children Engaged in Activity at Home.