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The Origin of Mother’s Day

Written by Kushaan Agarwal, a grade 9 student.

This day came into existence in 1908 and was introduced by Anna Jarvis when she held a memorial for her mother at….

By I Kid You Not , in Did You Know Explained Facts to Know History , at May 9, 2020 Tags: , , , ,

Written by Kushaan Agarwal, a grade 9 student ( This article was written in May 2020)

There are various days celebrating something or the other throughout the year. But every year, mostly in the month of May, comes the day we all must have heard of, Mother’s Day. A day when we express our gratitude to the person who helped shape us into who we are today.

How did Mother’s Day start?

The day is different in the US and the UK, as far as the roots are concerned.

Here’s a quick explanation on who founded Mother’s Day.

In the US, this day came into existence in 1908 and was introduced by a lady named Anna Jarvis, when she held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia (USA).

Anna actually started to campaign for a day for mothers in 1905 when her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mother was a peace activist who had done a lot for wounded soldiers in the American Civil War. She had created something called, Mother’s Day Work Clubs, to bring attention to public health issues.

When Ann Reeves died, Anna Jarvis wanted to continue her mother’s work and started to talk about creating a special day for mothers all around the world.

It was declared an official holiday in the USA in 1914.

Surprisingly, later on, Anna Jarvis herself was not satisfied with this day. She even tried to abolish it and remove it from the calendar.

Why? Because she felt that she had lost control of the holiday she helped to create and was not happy with its commercialism.

Once, while dining in a restaurant she ordered a salad named ‘Mother’s Day Special’ and when it arrived, she threw it on the floor and stomped on it as a sign of protest.

Mother’s Day in ancient times

While modern Mother’s day was introduced in 1908, celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

Now about Mothering Sunday…

In the middle ages, (defined as the period between the 5th and 15th centuries) there existed a custom in which people who had moved away from their homes came back for a visit on a Sunday during the Christian festival of Lent – Lent is a period of 40 days in which Christians remember the life of and death of Jesus Christ.

So when everyone came back it was a time for families to reunite. This eventually became a day called Mothering Sunday in Britain.

So, Mothering Sunday in the UK has no connection with Mother’s Day as it originated in America.

How is Mother’s Day celebrated around the world?

In Ethiopia, on Mother’s Day, families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honouring motherhood.                      

In the United States, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers, and it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Families also celebrate by giving mothers a day off from activities like cooking or other household chores.                                                      

In India too Mother’s Day is celebrated by presenting gifts and giving mothers a break from their duties.

What can we as children do for our mothers?

On this special day, we all should try our bests to make our mothers feel the most pampered. She cares for us every day. She ensures we are happy all the time. So, let us show our gratitude by letting her take a break. Small things, like writing a letter for her, cooking a meal for her, and making a card for her also go a long way.

So, let’s together not only make this but every day a special one for our moms!

Written by Kushaan Agarwal
Kushaan is an aviation enthusiast. He loves to play basketball and tennis among other sports
. He is now in grade 12, though this article was written when he was in grade 9

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