Mother’s Day 2016 is around the corner. You have probably been making your mom cards for this holiday for as long as you remember. But where did it come from anyway? Why do we celebrate it? Do other cultures celebrate their mothers like you do, as well?
In Australia, Canada, and the United States, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday of May. But, according to the History Channel, ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to formally celebrate moms. Or rather, they held festivals for mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. Mortal moms first had a holiday all to themselves in the early 1600’s. Christians then held a festival called “Mothering Sunday” during Lent. After a special service in church, Christians used to return home and spend time with their moms over a special “mothering cake.”
However, the Mother’s Day we know today was only first celebrated in May 1908. According to History, this is all thanks to a woman named Anna Jarvis. Jarvis got the idea for the holiday following her mom’s death in 1905. Years later, in 1914, US President Woodrow Wilson officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
How would people from around the world celebrate Mother’s Day 2016? According to Gospel Herald, the holiday has become “highly commercialised” in certain countries. “Marketers…[now try to] play on the emotional aspect of the day to sell their goods,” the website claims. The holiday is typically celebrated with “flowers, gift-giving…and brunch.” This is particularly true of Australia, Canada, UK, and the United States.
What do Australians usually give their moms on this special holiday? According to Time and Date, “flowers, chocolates and cards” are popular gifts for moms Down Under. According to the website, carnations are “particularly symbolic” since these are the very same flowers Jarvis sent out on the very first Mother’s Day.