Mother’s Day, How Did It Begin?


What is Mother’s Day about?

Mother’s day is a celebration, where we show our love and affection to our mums. It’s a day where we can shower her with gifts and presents and show her just how much we love her. It’s a day our mum can have a rest and a day off.

But how did it start?

One of the earliest historical records of a civilization celebrating a mother figure or a mother deity can be found as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who would hold an annual festival to honour the goddess Isis. But the foundation of worship and celebration of motherhood really lays with the ancient Greeks and the Romans.

The ancient Greeks would have an annual springtime festival to honour Rhea, the wife of Cronus and the mother to many of the Greek Gods and Goddesses in Greek mythology.

Over 250 years before Christ was born the Romans would worship Cybele, also a mother goddess in a festival known as Hilaria that lasted three days, from March 15th to March 18th.

But the clearest example for mother’s day is what became known as Mothering Sunday, a Christian festival that was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. On this day the early Christians of England would honour the Virgin Mary and the church they were baptized in, their “Mother church”. Eventually these traditions started to fade and the focus was aimed more at real mothers.

When the first English settlers arrived in America they never carried on the tradition of Mothering Sunday. While back in England the tradition lived on, Mother’s Day in America was to be re-invented with its very own history.

The first celebration of Mothers Day in America was in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother. Anna’s mother was Ann Reeves Jarvis who was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. She also help to form Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues and expressed her wish to some day have the importance of a mothers work formally recognised. On her death her daughter Anna started a letter campaign in hopes to fulfill her mothers wishes. Her campaign was successful and in May 1914 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation creating a national Mother’s Day for the 2nd Sunday of May.

A final word

But this is just a small part of the history of Mother’s Day. It is celebrated all over the world, and each country has its own history, its own day and its own traditions. But one thing remains, a true mother will always love you unconditionally, she will always worry about you wherever you are and she will always have a loving smile for her children. So on Mother’s Day give her a thought and show her how much you appreciate her.



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