One Hundred Years of Mother's Day celebrations

One Hundred Years of Mother's Day celebrations


This coming Sunday is Mother's Day, so this week I thought I would have a look into the history of celebrating Mother's Day. We've been writing the Kings Seeds blog now for over three years. When I looked back over some of the other posts we have done around this time of the year, I discovered we have never written a post on Mother's Day. What were we talking about instead? Well, around Mother's Day in previous years we have posted a Tutorial on Growing Microgreens, a post about Sprouting Seeds at home, and a post about Dried Flowers. So, with my own mother becoming more precious to me with every year that passes, here is a bit of background on Mother's Day....

Mother's Day is 100 years old this year. It was the American President Woodrow Wilson who designated the second Sunday in May to be celebrated as Mother's Day – that was back in 1914, which makes this year the 100 year anniversary.

A woman called Anna Jarvis is credited for being the “mother of Mother’s Day” for her long crusade to celebrate mothers. Anna's own mother nursed wounded soldiers from both sides of the American Civil War. An activist and social worker, Mrs Jarvis used to express her desire that someday someone must honour all mothers, living and dead, and pay tribute to their contributions to their families and their communities. After Anna's mother died in 1905, Anna Jarvis vowed that she would be the person to found a day celebrating mothers.

Anna Jarvis

She pushed for a national holiday. She hosted a small gathering in honour of her mother in 1907. In 1908, she arranged for white carnations to be handed to mothers in her local church. Later Anna and her supporters wrote letters to people in positions of power, lobbying for the official declaration of a Mother's Day holiday. By 1911, Mother's Day was being celebrated throughout America and on May 8, 1914 President Wilson officially designated the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. Mother's Day is now celebrated all over the world (although celebration dates vary).

This isn't the end of the story, however. During
the early 1920s, florists began heavily marketing carnations and greeting card companies began to sell Mother's Day cards. Jarvis hated this, as her intention was for children to write hand-written, personal notes. Though she spent almost a decade trying to establish the holiday, she eventually turned against its commercialisation and was arrested for protesting at a Mother's Day carnation sale. Jarvis spent the rest of her life trying to end Mother's Day.

Last week I was visited my mother and so we celebrated Mother's Day early with her. My parents have moved to a smaller house, which had absolutely no garden when they moved in six months ago. Just inside the front door, Mum has a huge box of daffodils bulbs which she is gradually planting in the garden. They will look lovely in Spring.

Mum loves daffodils, so this year I gave her a pot of tiny daffodils in flower. Less than ten minutes later, Dad arrived home with an identical pot of daffodils - his Mother's Day gift for my mother. Luckily, she was delighted to have two. Great minds think alike!

This Mother's Day, hooray for home-made cards and gifts, hooray for breakfast in bed (complete with cold coffee, crumbs and hullabaloo!), hooray for spending time with your Mum. Hooray for thinking about her and what makes her happy. Hooray for little bunches of flowers picked from your garden (or hers!). Hooray for kisses and hugs.

We hope you and the Mothers in your life have a wonderful weekend!

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