All of us can probably agree that mothers around the world deserve more than one day each year that we celebrate them, say “thanks,” take them out for meals and give them gifts of jewelry, flowers, and clothes. But since this isn’t exactly possible for most of us, we make sure that our mothers get one special day each year when we honor them. This year, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 12. And while we all know what this tradition means and are trying to plan special days, most of us don’t really understand how the holiday started.
Believe or not, Mother’s Day is a really old tradition, dating back to ancient Greece, when people would honor Rhea, the mother of several of the deities in Greek mythology. Ancient Romans also had their own “mother’s day” each spring called Hilaria, during which they celebrated Cybele, a mother goddess. But the first modern-day celebration of Mother’s Day as we know it today was in 17th century England, when citizens celebrated “Mothering Sunday” on the fourth Sunday of Lent each year. For this holiday, people would gather at the church to honor mothers and the Virgin Mary, and children would bring gifts and flowers to pay tribute. However, Mothering Sunday had pretty much died out by the 19th century and didn’t reappear for nearly 100 years.
So, how did Mother’s Day “resurrect” and end up in the U.S.? The first official suggestion of the holiday came in 1872 by activist and writer Julia Ward Howe, who wanted the country to designate every June 2 as Mother’s Day. Although Boston celebrated the holiday for about a decade, Howe’s idea never really took off nationwide and it eventually fizzled. In the early 20th century, a Virginia woman named Anna Jarvis picked up where Howe left off and tirelessly advocated for an official Mother’s Day in the U.S. An activist and social worker, Jarvis was well-connected and used this to her advantage when lobbying for official recognition of a day that would celebrate all mothers. Her hard work paid off. By 1911, almost every state in the country celebrated Mother’s Day and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday of every May as Mother’s Day.
These days, we all have different traditions for how we honor our mothers on this special day each year. Some of us have big family gatherings, while others attend intimate brunches and dinners. Most of us spend hours picking out the perfect gifts and bouquets of flowers. And all of us take a little extra time to thank our mothers for all they have done for us during our lifetimes.
When you’re figuring out how to spend your Mother’s Day this year, don’t forget that La Familia Pawn & Jewelry has tons of fantastic gifts, such as jewelry, musical equipment and electronics, at a fraction of the price that other retailers sell merchandise. And if you aren’t sure what your mom would like best, we offer gift vouchers that allow your mother to swing by one of our stores at her own convenience and choose something she loves.
No matter how you celebrate this year, we wish you and your family a very happy Mother’s Day!