A Tale of Two Mother’s Day
It was the best of times for those who remembered. It was the worst of times for those who forgot. It was a time for moms. It was a time for mums. It was three weeks before Easter in Britain. It was the second Sunday of May for America. It was two different dates, but it was celebrating one and the same thing. It was Mother’s Day!
For those unfamiliar, Mother’s Day is celebrated on two different days. Depending on the culture, Mother’s day would fall either on the second Sunday of May or the fourth Sunday of the Lenten season. This difference can often cause problems, especially for those who have relocated to a country that celebrates Mother’s Day on one date from another country that celebrates it on the other date. This can also cause problems when both the mother and child live in two countries that celebrate mother’s day on different dates. Often, this difference in date can cause panic for the child or disappointment for the mother. For many, the best practice would be to celebrate Mother’s day on both dates. That way, the confusion stops, and besides, mothers can get an extra special day to enjoy. Mothers do deserve that extra day.
So Why are there two Mother’s Days? What happened to merit this confusion, and why can’t the world just get along?
Among the two potential dates that Mother’s day could fall, the earlier one is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent and exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. This year, it is celebrated on the twenty-seventh of March.
This Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday originated as far back as the Middle Ages. Mothering Sunday was a Christian Observance. During that time, children who had looked for work away from their hometown would go back to their home church. These churches were also called “mother” churches back then. These long journeys slowly evolved into a time during spring when families could see each other after a very long time. Gradually, these families would celebrate these reunions and gatherings. During this time, children returning home would pick up flowers along the way to give to their mothers, thus creating the tradition of gifting mothers flowers for Mother’s Day.
American Mother’s Day
Mother’s day in the United States was founded much later than its British counterpart. It started with a woman who cared for soldiers of the two different sides during the American Civil War. Ann Reeves Jarvis was a Civil War peace activist who understood the work of mothers. Being a mother herself, she knew what it felt like to lose a husband and child due to the severe repercussions of war. As such, she and a fellow activist and suffragette named Julia Ward Howe established a “Mother’s Day for Peace” where they would ask that their husbands and sons were no longer killed in wars. In 1870, Ward Howe made her “Appeal To Womanhood Throughout the World” This appeal was rooted in Ward Howe’s belief that women had a responsibility to form their societies at the political level. This appeal later became the Mother’s Day Proclamation, 30 years before Mother’s day was such a thing.
Mother’s Day only became the Mother’s day that we know when Anna Jarvis, inspired by her mother’s and Ward Howe’s work as well as her belief that mothers “are the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world” took the US Congress and asked them to recognize it as an official holiday. The US congress was at first dismissive of their proposal, but because of Anna Jarvis’ perseverance, US states began recognizing the holiday. By 1911 all US states were honoring their mothers with the holiday. Everything went official when, in 1914, US President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation that designated the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day, a national holiday to honor mothers.
These two notable dates for Mother’s day are celebrated by most countries. Countries celebrating Mother’s day on the second Sunday of May include the United States, Greenland, Japan, China, Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, and many more. In fact, it is the day when most countries celebrate Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, Mothering Day is celebrated by countries mostly related to the United Kingdom. This includes the United Kingdom, The Isle of Man, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey, and Nigeria.
Other Countries celebrate Mother’s Day on different days, however. Some countries like Albania, Belarus, Burundi, and Bulgaria celebrate it with International Women’s Day. Still, others celebrate it during the Spring Equinox like Bahrain, Djibouti, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates. Armenia celebrates it during Annunciation Day and celebrates it as Motherhood and Beauty Day. South Korea is an interesting case as it takes the original date for Mother’s Day and celebrates it as Parent’s Day
No matter where you are or when you celebrate Mother’s Day, it is still important to honor your mother with gifts. Julesgifts in the USA is an online store where you can find a unique gift for your mom. Brighten up your mom’s day this Mother’s Day by visiting their site and finding a good and special gift for your mother.