A Brief History of Mother’s Day

Mother's DayCultures have celebrated Mother’s Day from the days of the ancient Greeks honoring Rhea, the mother of the gods, to the 1600s when England celebrated “Mothering Sunday” on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In the 19th century United States, Julia Ward Howe led the petition for a dedicated Mother’s Day, hoping for it to be a day of peace. Her version of the day was not widely embraced, but in 1914, the second Sunday in May was officially established as “Mother’s Day” in the U.S. to honor mothers for the sacrifices they made for their children. In 1923, Jane Heyden of Australia began the tradition of supporting older and neglected mothers, and encouraged people to do the same in their communities. The idea grew in popularity and the country progressed to celebrating all mothers on a special day. These days, Mother’s Day is celebrated in May all around the world. Children in Japan give their mothers carnations as symbols of purity and resilience. In India, families have reunions and festivals to honor the mothers in their families. In Italy, children often write poems for and bring fresh flowers to their mothers. If you’d like to learn about more international Mother’s Day traditions, check out these articles from Scholastic and About: Women’s History.

In the U.S., we give our mothers cards, flowers, or something special we know she wants, but won’t buy for herself. I love to send my mom something meaningful, but bringing the little one to the store to browse can be a daunting task. That’s when I turn to Amazon’s great Mother’s Day picks. I can find the perfect gift and have it shipped right to my sweet mom’s door. This year, when you are thinking of your mom, or the woman who is just like a mother to you, please Shop with GHF Amazon and support GHF at the same time!

The History of Mother’s Day
Remember Mrs. Heyden on Every Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day: History of the Celebration
Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World

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