The 2nd Sunday in May is recognised in many countries as Mother’s Day. According to Wikipedia – “Mother’s Day is a modern celebration honouring one’s own mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society”. But how did it come into being?
Mother’s Day as we know it didn’t begin until the 20th century. The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in America in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother; she wanted to honour her mother and began campaigning to have Mother’s Day recognised as a holiday in the USA from 1905 (the year her mother died). She succeeded in her campaign, but later became resentful and tried to rescind Mother’s Day as she saw how, by the 1920’s it had become commercialised, with Hallmark and other companies producing gift cards, etc and profiting from it. It was meant to be about sentiment, not profit. Mother’s Day was meant to honour and appreciate mothers through hand written letters expressing love and gratitude, not through gifts and pre-made cards.
Apparently Mothers Day was first celebrated in Australia in 1924. A certain Mrs. J Heydon claims she began the tradition of giving gifts to mothers when she began taking gifts to brighten the lives of the lonely mothers of the Newington State Home (in Sydney) in 1924.
In Australia, the chrysanthemum is traditionally given to mothers for Mother’s Day as the plant is in flower and in season during May (autumn in Australia) and ends in “mum” (the common affectionate abbreviation for “mother” in Australia).
To all the mothers – have a truly wonderful Mother’s Day, I hope you are all spoilt, but also take the time to remember just how fortunate you are too. It is a privilege to be a mother and not every woman gets to experience that, so count your blessings and enjoy your day!