The History Of International Mother’s Day

the-history-of-international-mother-s-dayThe History Of International Mother Day: Sunday, mothers across Barry County will be honored by their families. Some mothers will receive flowers and gifts and others will simply enjoy a relaxing day with their children and loved ones. Americans have celebrated this annual holiday for over 100 years.

Although today’s Mother’s Day looks much different than the initial celebration, the concept of honoring mothers remains the central theme of the holiday.

Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” organized the first Mother’s Day celebration in North America in 1870. The event was founded in an effort to bring mothers together to protest the carnage of the Civil War. Howe intended for the day to be used as a celebration of peace. By 1873, women’s groups in over a dozen North American cities were observing the annual holiday.

Later, Anna Reeves Jarvis led a West Virginia women’s group to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s Mother’s Day holiday. The celebration was designed to re-unite families and neighbors who had been divided during the Civil War. After Jarvis died, her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day holiday.

The first official Mother’s Day celebration was held at Andrews’s Methodist Church in Grafton, W.V., on May 10, 1908. A church in Philadelphia, Penn., also celebrated the holiday. During the celebration, the younger Jarvis distributed white carnations, her mother’s favorite flower, to each mother in attendance. Today, carnations continue to be used to honor mother’s on the annual holiday.

The YMCA proposed legislation for a national Mother’s Day holiday in 1908. Although the proposal was defeated, 46 states were celebrating the holiday by 1909. In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day. Two years later, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation that declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day as we know it was started and promoted by some very strong, influential women. Today, the holiday gives each of us an opportunity to honor the strong women who have been influential in our lives. I hope the following poem, “Ode to Mothers,” which was written by Kristin F. McKendall, will help inspire some of you to plan a special Mother’s Day celebration for your mother this year.

Mother’s Day Date in Different Countries:

United States: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Australia: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Belgium: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Brazil: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Canada: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Denmark: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Finland: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Germany: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Greece: Second Sunday in the month of May.

India: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Italy: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Japan: Second Sunday in the month of May.

New Zealand: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Singapore: Second Sunday in the month of May.

Turkey: Second Sunday in the month of May.

United Kingdom/England: Mother’s Day is called Mothering Sunday and falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

France: First Sunday in June or last Sunday in May

Much of South America (as well as Mexico), Bahrain, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates: May 10

Mexico: – May 8

Albania: – March 8

Russia: – November 28

Poland: – May 26

Indonesia: – December 22

Egypt: – March 21

Norway: – February 13

Thailand: Birthday of Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara – August 12

Sweden: Last Sunday in May

Lebanon: First day of Spring

Norway: The second Sunday in February

Austria, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Taiwan, Hungary, Portugal, South Africa, Spain: First Sunday in May

Antwerp (Belgium), Costa Rica: Assumption day – August 15

Argentina: The Día de la Madre – The second or third Sunday in October.