Mother’s Day History
"Breakfast in Bed" by Mary Cassatt 1897
In just a few short weeks it will be Mother’s Day; that one special day of the year when we publicly recognize and honor the person who gives us guidance, direction and most importantly, love. And if you’re like me, you’ve always celebrated the day without ever knowing the history behind it.
Ancient Egyptians celebrated the goddess Isis, their Mother deity, with an annual festival, while in Turkey the Phrygian goddess Cybele was honored and in Greece, Rhea was considered the Mother of the Gods. These earlier festivals became so bawdy they eventually died out and were replaced with more conservative and sedate affairs.
Then in 17th century England, a celebration of the Virgin Mary grew to include all Mothers and became known as Mothering Day. But after English settlers came to America, the celebration was discontinued until Julia Ward Howe introduced her Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Howe who wrote the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was so upset over the Civil War, she wanted a way for all Mothers to come together and protest the killings.
Inspired by Howe, a few years later Anna Reeves Jarvis led a group of West Virginia Mothers in reuniting families divided by the Civil War. This event was named Mother’s Friendship Day. After her death, her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration held simultaneously in Grafton, West Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 10th, 1908. Finally in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared and signed into the law that the second Sunday in May would forever be known as Mother’s Day.
White carnations have long been associated with Mother’s Day. And while every woman, whether a Mother or not, loves getting flowers, nothing quite lets your Mom know how special she is like a piece of custom jewelry. It’s so easy to commemorate a milestone in her life with her favorite stone set in a necklace, ring or brooch. Let’s get started today so she’ll know how much she is loved and appreciated! Set up an appointment to discuss a custom project or send us a message now.