Mother’s Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans mostly in celebration of the goddesses.   Modern roots of Mother’s Day history can also be traced in UK where a Mothering Sunday was celebrated.  Mother’s Day in the United States is not quite 100 years old.  Pioneering women of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis were instrumental in establishing the celebration. In 1872 Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, worked hard for the day but wanted it to be a day of prayer and reverence, not commercialism.  It was originally celebrated in June.  Anna Jarvis was an activist and a social worker and honored her mother with carnations at church.  She was a lobbiest and was instrumental in the getting every state in the union to celebrate the day.  On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it official.   Today the festival of Mother’s Day is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates) and is a hugely popular affair.   In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.  (Taken from the website: http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-history.html)  The website contains much more information on the history, “momisms”, and a lot of trivia. 

            May Day or May 1st, used to be a special day also.  It is a celebration of the arrival of spring.  It is believed that the holiday originated in Roman times as a festival of flowers.   Children celebrate this day by making small baskets filled with treats or flowers to give secretly to friends and neighbors and dancing around the May pole.  It is a common custom (and lots of fun) to leave the basket on the doorstep of a friend, ring the doorbell and run away.  If the friend sees you before you get away, you owe them a kiss!

Comments are closed.