With today being Mother’s Day an’ all, I thought it’ll be good to post an article I wrote a few years ago on how the holiday began. . .I think it’ll surprise you, but let me know what you think.
In 1905, Anna Jarvis’ mother died, two years later, on May 12th, Ms. Jarvis began to remember her mother with a memorial in her honor. Sometime in 1912, she trademarked the second Sunday in May and the phrase, “Mother’s Day”, and by 1914 it was a recognized U.S. holiday. Ironically, Anna Jarvis was never married or a mother, and was very outspoken against the holiday she invented. She was revered as ‘bitter‘ and was even arrested for protesting her disgust with the commercialization of the holiday. She ultimately died poverty-stricken and penniless, after devoting her life and it’s earnings to her protest efforts.
Worldwide there are other beliefs as to how the holiday began. Ancient Greeks held a festival between March 15th and 18th to honor their “Mother of Greek Gods”. Romans dedicated their festival/celebration, Matronalia, to the Roman Goddess, Juno, a unique one bringing children to light, hence the movie released a few years ago with the same title. Many nations and cultures already had their own, pre-existing holidays honoring mother’s such as Europe and the United Kingdom, who celebrate “Mothering Day” in accordance with several Christian denominations and their Catholic calendar in which the honor is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Mother’s Day is also observed on various dates throughout the world; Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Russia, and others recognize it on March 8th. The United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Ireland hold their memorials on the fourth Sunday of March, while Mozambique, Spain, and Portugal has set aside the first Sunday of May for their festivities. In Mexico its May 10th, only five days after Cinco De Mayo, Norway has reserved the second Sunday in February, while Greece holds February 2nd as the day for their mothers, and Israel falls somewhere between January 30th, and March 1st. It seems unanimous, no matter where you’re from, there’s a day every year just for mom, and coincidently, everyone seems to like for Mother’s Day to fall on a Sunday.
P.S. Happy Mother’s Day Mama! (I know you’re reading this!)
— F. Kenneth Taylor