A Day Dedicated to Moms: Why we Celebrate Mother’s Day and Where It Began
It’s almost Mother’s Day 2018 and it’s time to think about one of the most special people in your life: your mom. How are you going to make her feel special? It doesn’t matter if you give her flowers, chocolates, jewellery or treat her to a lovely breakfast. Just show her you care or simply, just tell your mom that you love her.
And while you are organising gifts and making restaurant reservations, have you ever stopped to wonder why we celebrate Mother’s Day each and every year and what it means?
Why Do We Celebrate Mother’s Day?
Mother’s Day is a celebration of motherhood, maternal bonds, and honouring the mother. After all, our mothers play an important role in our lives; they are always there for us through thick and thin, encouraging us and giving advice when we need it the most. And who doesn’t like going home to taste their mother’s cooking?
Mother’s Day is also about celebrating the influences that mothers have in society. A mother may not necessarily the women who gave birth to you, she could be an adoptive mother, grandmother or someone you look up to as a motherly figure. These women too, also provide advice, life lessons and help shape us as children of the future.
When is Mother’s Day in 2018?
To make sure you don’t miss this Mother’s Day, take note of Sunday 13th May 2018. In South Africa, we celebrate it on the second Sunday of every May – which isn’t the easiest day to remember.
Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the world, and while each country shares similar themes and concepts, they are held on different days. For example, in Norway, it falls on the second Sunday in February and the 12th of August in Thailand.
When and Where Did it Begin?
Mother’s Day was first campaigned for by Anna Jarvis in the US in 1905. Why was Jarvis so set on the celebration of mothers? Because hers had been a peace activist during the American Civil War who treated soldiers on both sides and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, Anna’s mom, was an inspiration to many, a humanitarian, and someone with the heart bigger than most. She was a special woman and Anna wanted to make sure that she was remembered and honoured in the best way possible. Anna also wanted to make sure that all mothers were celebrated.
The first modern version of Mother’s Day was held in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia in the US. Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother in order to honour her idol. This memorial was held on the second Sunday in May (10th) in 1908.
However, the pieces didn’t fall into place at first. Unfortunately, the US government rejected the notion at the time but by 1911 after more campaigning by Anna and public acceptance of the idea, all of the US states acknowledged Mother’s Day, with some proclaiming it a local holiday. In 1941, it was designated a national holiday in the US to honour mothers and is a tradition that has carried on over seven decades later.
Mother’s Day in South Africa
After a few years, the modern celebration made its way across the pond and landed on our humble and robust shores. While South Africa doesn’t recognise Mother’s Day as a national holiday (an entire day of festivities would be fantastic!), we still celebrate it for what it is: a day where our mothers are pampered, treated and made sure they know we love them and are thankful for all of the hard work they have put in over the years.
And while you may be struggling to think of Mother’s Day ideas, debating what your mom would love best, remember that it doesn’t matter what you do or buy for her, as long as you make her feel special, loved, and appreciated.