Monday March 21, 2022
I wrote – Amira Helmy
March 21 is a day of appreciation for the most important women and their influence in our lives, but to celebrate this day, we have a story and an origin, according to Reader’s Diigest.
Mother’s Day Origin
You might think this day is just about gifts and flowers, but there’s more to the story than you thought.
This Mother’s Day history includes the ancient Greeks and Romans, a battle of a strong woman, Anna Jarvis, and some efforts from feminist Julia Ward Howe.
Mother’s Day wasn’t popping up before, but the ancient Greeks and Romans dedicated festivals to the mother goddess Rhea and Cybele.
In 16th century England, Mother’s Day was celebrated, during which children made a pilgrimage to their family’s church (also known as the “Mother”) church on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
That trip also provided a good excuse for family reunification and a day off, usually for domestic workers and daughters, so they could see their mothers.
Regardless of historical precedents, today’s version of Mother’s Day around the world can be attributed to the tireless efforts of Anna Jarvis, who was not actually a mother. She organized the first ceremony in 1908 to honor her mother, who had died three years earlier.
Catherine Antolini, author of Commemorating Motherhood: Anna Jarvis struggled to celebrate Mother’s Day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson designated Mother’s Day an official celebration.
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Respect for mothers in the family
Interestingly, as Time magazine reported, Jarvis’ mother wanted to start a mothers’ holiday in the mid-1800s, but her idea was strikingly different: She envisioned a day of community service for mothers to help other mothers in need.
This was inspired in part by the tragedies of Anne herself: she gave birth to 13 children, but only four of them lived to adulthood. At the time, typhoid fever was spreading in the community, and she and her doctor brother had organized information sessions called Mother’s Day Action Clubs, their goal being to educate women about proper hygiene and give their children a better chance of staying healthy.