Mum’s the word: The history of Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day! In honour of all the hardworking moms out there, we're sharing how this particular holiday came to be.
Facebook
Twitter

Mum’s the word: The history of Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day! In honour of all the hardworking moms out there, we're sharing how this particular holiday came to be.
Facebook
Twitter
History of Mothers Day

Subscribe to The Bullet to get our deep dives into trending news topics straight to your inbox.


THE BACKGROUND

She’s your rock, your confidant and the single best excuse for booking brunch reservations. She’s your mom and today is all about her. 

But before you sip that mimosa (or three), you should know there’s more to Mother’s Day than champagne and orange juice.

Grab those high-waisted jeans, Bullet readers. It’s time to celebrate mom!

(And if you’re still trying to figure out how to show your love, we’ve got 20 really awesome ideas right here.) 

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER

The history of North American Mother’s Day is a little darker than you may realize. It began circa the 1860s when U.S. activist and peacemaker Ann Jarvis founded a committee called “Mother’s Friendship Day” to build bridges between moms on both sides of the Civil War. 
 
Three years after her death in May 1908, Ann’s daughter Anna held a memorial at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in West Virginia (now dubbed the “International Mother’s Day Shrine”) to honour her mother and mothers everywhere. It was considered the country’s first official Mother’s Day observance, paving the way for Woodrow Wilson to proclaim it a national holiday six years later. 
 
As the popularity and commercialism of Mother’s Day grew, so did Anna’s disapproval. In fact, she grew so disgusted by all the flowers, chocolates and schmaltzy greeting cards that she tried to shut down the holiday altogether (and got arrested in the process). Anna died in 1948 boycotting the occasion she helped create. Legend has it a group of grateful florists paid her final hospital bill.

MOTHER EARTH

In a world rife with conflict, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Moms. Are. Awesome. These are just some of the many ways they are celebrated around the globe:

• United Kingdom

The Brits pay to tribute their mums a bit earlier on the calendar — on the fourth Sunday of Lent, to be exact, on a day called Mothering Sunday that also honours the Virgin Mary. Many customs resemble those on this side of the Atlantic, but often include a traditional Simnel cake for dessert.

• Australia

Our Commonwealth compatriots down under celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day as North Americans and customarily offer Chrysanthemums, which are in bloom this time of year, as a show of affection.

• Mexico

Día de la Madre, which literally translates to “Mother’s Day,” is celebrated annually in Mexico on May 10. On this occasion, moms are showered with gifts, flowers and music, as family members traditionally serenade their matriarchs with songs of endearment throughout the day. 

• Thailand

Celebrated on the birthday of Thailand’s Queen Sirikit, Thai Mother’s Day (Wan Mae) takes place on August 12. Not only is the queen herself honoured as the country’s central maternal figure, everyday moms are also feted, namely with white jasmine flowers representing motherly love.

KEEPING MUM

Whether you’re celebrating with mom today or sending her long-distance love, here are some Mother’s Day tidbits to make her smile (and momentarily distract her from your relationship status).• While North America can trace its modern Mother’s Day roots to the Jarvis women, it was the Ancient Greeks who pioneered the idea of worshipping mom.

• Mother’s Day is not considered a public holiday in Canada or the United States, but since it always falls on Sunday, many federal offices are closed.

• Canadians spend an average of $50 more celebrating Mother’s Day than they do on Father’s Day. 

• In North America, the official Mother’s Day flower is the Carnation. Its significance dates back to Anna Jarvis who used the flower as symbol of whether your mother was alive (red) or had passed away (white).

• More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. Call your mom!

From our Bullet family to yours, we wish all the moms out there a wonderful and restful (seriously, put your feet up) Mother’s Day!


Subscribe to The Bullet to get our deep dives into trending news topics straight to your inbox.


Facebook
Twitter
Facebook
Twitter

MORE LONG SHOTS