The History and Origins of Mother's Day
Today, Mother's Day is a time to reflect on how important those maternal figures in our lives are. Whether it’s your own mother, your grandmother, your mother-in-law or another relative or close friend who you think goes above and beyond when it comes to motherly duties, the second Sunday in May is a time in Australia to shower mums with love, special flowers, and other nice treats.
But have you ever wondered how this annual tradition came to be? The actual origins of Mother's Day might surprise you. Here’s a bit of background on what has become one of the happier, brighter days of the year around the world.
The ancient beginnings
Centuries ago, the Greeks and Romans held festivals to honour the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. There was also a Christian festival that was popular in Europe called Mothering Sunday. This involved religious followers returning to the main church in their area – known as a “mother church” – for a special service each year. Eventually children started using this day as a time to give their mum Mother's Day flowers and other gifts.
The origins of a global Mother's Day
There were a few different initiatives in the 1850s that helped further the concept of Mother’s Day. One was started by Ann Reeves Jarvis, who put together a Mother’s Day club to help work toward better conditions for infants. This group also helped take care of wounded soldiers in the 1860s. Picnics were organised in an effort to unite people that had been torn apart by America’s Civil War.
Ann died in 1905. Her daughter Anna created Mother’s Day observances in 1908 in honour of her mum Ann’s work. Families gathered in several U.S. cities to remember mothers who had passed away. The tradition grew and grew. In 1914, U.S. president Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday in May would be an official Mother’s Day holiday.
Raging against the Mother’s Day machine
Anna was not happy with how big the day became. She had intended for it to stay small and intimate. She spent many of the final decades of her life fighting against the growth of her idea. But she was unsuccessful. Now Mother’s Day is celebrated in countries all over the world.
For better or worse, Anna Jarvis’ work gave us a time to show the mums in our life how important they are to us. Buying tulips, carnations, gerberas or lilies or other flowers for Mother's Day is a great way to express your love and appreciation for all the hard work your mum has put in to help make you the person you are today. Check out our Mother's Day flower specials and pick out something nice for your mum today.