This article is about several worldwide days celebrating motherhood.
A homemade cake, one of many ways a family might celebrate Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday.
The modern Mother's Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in May, though also in March, as a day to honor mothers and motherhood. In the United States it was nationally recognized as a holiday in 1914 after a campaign by Anna Jarvis. In some countries, it follows the old tradition.
Lamberts thought this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece, which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of Greek gods. This festival was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (15 March) to 18 March.
The ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.
In Europe there were several long standing traditions where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor motherhood and mothers such as Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday celebrations are part of the liturgical calendar in several Christian denominations, including Anglicans, and in the Catholic calendar is marked as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to honour the Virgin Mary and your "mother" church (the main church of the area). Historians think that children who served in houses were given a day off on that date so they could visit their families. The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place them on the church or to give them to their mother[
International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time in 28 February 1909, in the US By that time Anna Jarvis had already begun her national campaign in the US, so it wouldn't be an antecedent but a contemporanian. It is now celebrated in many countries on March 8.
The "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.
In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association.
"She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the law making official the holiday in the U.S., by the U.S. Congress on bills, and by other U.S. presidents on their declarations.
Common usage in English language also dictates that the ostensibly singular possessive "Mother's Day" is the preferred spelling, although "Mothers' Day" (plural possessive) is not unheard of.
As the US holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures, the date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honouring motherhood, like Mothering Sunday in the UK or the Orthodox celebration of Jesus in the temple in Greece. In some countries it was changed to dates that were significant to the majority religion, like the Virgin Mary day in Catholic countries, or the birthday of the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic countries. Other countries changed it to historical dates, like Bolivia using the date of a certain battle where women participated.
International history and traditions
In most countries, Mother's Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in North America and Europe. When it was adopted by other countries and cultures, it was given different meanings, associated to different events (religious, historical or legendary), and celebrated in a different date or dates.
Some countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations have adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, like giving carnations and other presents to your own mother.
The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one's mother not to mark Mother's Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture (compare the celebrations of Diwali in the UK and the United States).
In the Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with reverencing the Virgin Mary
In Hindu tradition it is called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" or "Mother Pilgrimage fortnight", and it is celebrated in countries with Hindu population, especially in Nepal. It is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh i.e. April/May
The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the 1880s and 1890s there were several attempts to establish a Mother's Day, but they didn't succeed beyond the local level. The holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908 as a day to honor one's mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother's dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea didn't take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker.She kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a "Hallmark Holiday", i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create. She died in 1948, regretting what had become of her holiday. In the United States, Mother's Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like; it is also the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls.