Mother’s Day Trivia

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There is a long and storied history that comes with the celebration of Mother’s Day. Here are a few of the facts that will help enlighten the holiday. Here is some Mother’s Day trivia-

  • A call for Mother’s Day first came in 1870, by Julia Ward Howe. Howe wished for the day to be observed nationally in 1872. However, the first Mother’s Day was actually a call for women to rise up and protest the unnecessary violence and destruction of war. Women’s peace groups were actually the first ones to mark this day. One of the ways that this was observed was by the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides during the American Civil War.
  • Anna Jarvis planted the seeds for the Mother’s Day we know today. In 1907 the holiday was first celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, to commemorate the anniversary of her mother’s death two years earlier on May 9, 1905. It is interesting to note that Jarvis’s mother, (who was also named Anna Jarvis), had been active in Mother’s Day campaigns for peace and worker’s safety and health. The younger Jarvis had made it her mission to get wider recognition of Mother’s Day. The celebration that was organized by Jarvis on May 10, 1908 involved 407 children with their mothers at the Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton. The following campaigns that were held to recognize Mother’s Day were financed by clothing merchant John Wanamaker. As the custom of Mother’s Day spread, the major emphasis of the holiday shifted from the peacekeeping and reform movements, to a general appreciation of mothers.
  • United States president, Woodrow Wilson, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, on May 14, 1914.
  • There is a wide floral tradition that is associated with Mother’s Day. A person wears a red carnation if one’s mother is alive and a white one if she has died.
  • It is interesting to note that the very founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the over-commercialization of Mother’s Day. She lost the lawsuit and was disheartened for the rest of her life by what the holiday became. Anna had hoped for a day of reflection and quiet prayer by families, thanking God for all that mothers had done.
  • Beliefs about mothers have influenced cultures around the world. In Japan, the Imperial family traces their ancestry to Omikami Amaterasu, the Mother of the World. In ancient Egypt, the people believed that “Bast” was the mother of all cats on Earth, and that cats were sacred animals.
  • In the Bible, Eve is credited with being the “Mother of All the Living.”
  • In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.
  • The name Mother has been used in many other instances as well. For example-Rosa Parks is known as the mother of the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama that launched the Civil Rights Movement. Mother Shipton was a Prophetess in Britain 500 years ago. She could see the future, and predicted that another Queen Elizabeth would sit on the throne of England.
  • Today Mother’s Day is celebrated in most countries around the world. Australia, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Russia, China, Thailand, all have special celebrations to honor Mothers, but not in the same way or on the same day as the United States. Even far flung countries like Iran and Mongolia choose a special day to honor mothers in those countries as well.