Everyone has one or has someone who is like a mother to them. On the second Sunday of May, we honor those women who are our mothers. Mother’s Day has been celebrated around the world since, well, since motherhood.
- In the United States, Julia Ward Howe, who had written The Battle Hymn of the Republic, inspired the first movement toward a national Mother’s Day during the Civil War. Appealing to the public for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” after witnessing the devastation left by war, Howe went on an international crusade.
- While her efforts never gained formal recognition for an official observance, she was acknowledged posthumously in 1988 for her achievements and her efforts for women’s rights.
- It was in 1905 when Mother’s Day was finally introduced successfully by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis who had followed Howe’s campaign and had pursued her own volunteer efforts during the Civil War.
- Her mother died May 9, 1905, and she missed her greatly. She started a dedicated letter-writing campaign to declare an official Mother’s Day. Through Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the first Mother’s Day was observed on May 10, 1908.
- This day, to honor Anna Jarvis’s mother, grew into a National Observance until in 1911 when every state participated. Soon it was spreading internationally, and on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.
- The earliest Mother’s Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods.
- In 250 B.C. ancient Romans celebrated a spring festival called, Hilaria. This was dedicated to a mother goddess named, Cybele, on the Ides of March. Her followers would make offerings at the temple, hold parades, play games and also have masquerades. It lasted three days.
- During the 1600’s, England celebrated a day called “Mothering Sunday”, celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent. This was a time put aside for relaxation and enjoyment during the long Lenten fast.
- Servants would go home to see their families, bringing cakes and sweets to their moms. This custom was called “going a-mothering”. Each mother would receive a simnel-cake (Latin for “fine flour) and mother’s would give a blessing to their children.
- Other lore relates that centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their home or “mother” church once a year. So every year during Lent, people would visit their “mother” church, generally the main church or Cathedral of the area.
- In France Mother’s Day is referred to as Fete des Meres. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in May and is treated more like a family birthday. Families gather for a special meal.
- In Spain Mother’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of December. It is closely associated with Mother Mary – the mother of Jesus.
- In Sweden Mother’s Day is on the last Sunday in May and is a family holiday. The Swedish Red Cross sells small plastic flowers on the days leading up to Mother’s Day and the money raised is used to help needy mothers and their children.
- In Yugoslavia on “Materitse,” “Materice,” or Mother’s Day, the children tie up their mother, releasing her only when she has paid them to do so with sweets or other goodies.
- In India Mother’s Day is celebrated nationally on 19 August.
- An AT&T survey estimated that 122.5 million phone calls to Mom are made on Mother’s Day. Other Mother’s Day findings revealed that 11 percent of people never call their mothers, and 3 percent of the 68 percent planning to ring Mom up called her collect.
- Mother’s Day accounts for one-fourth of the flowers purchased for holidays. About one-third (32%) of adults (37% of men; 27% of women) bought flowers or plants as gifts for Mother’s Day 2009
- Approximately $14 billion dollars is spent on Mother’s Day.
- The shortest span between two babies is by mom, Jayne Bleackley. She gave birth to her son on September 3, 1999. Then only 208 days later gave birth to her daughter (on March 30, 2000).
- Elizabeth Ann Buttle gives a whole new meaning to second family. She gave birth to her first child (a girl) May 19,1956. Then when she was 60 years-old, she gave birth to her son on November 20, 1997, making the babies 41 years 185 days apart.
- Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday in the world, behind only Christmas and Easter.
- After Christmas and Hanukkah, more people buy flowers and plants for their moms on Mother’s Day than any other holiday. Around approximately one quarter of all the flowers purchased throughout the year are bought for Mother’s Day.
- Approximately 65% of all greeting card sales occur in the last five days before Mother’s Day.
- Women purchase 80% of all Mother’s Day cards
- Many of the trademark sweaters that Mr. Rogers wore on his television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, were knitted by his real mother.
- Mother’s Day was intended to be a day to honor mothers individually and not collectively, thus the reason for the apostrophe before the “s” – making it singular possessive instead of plural possessive.
- Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant industry with 62% of Americans dining out.
- As of 2014, there were 43.5 million moms in the States. These women are between the ages of 15 and 50, and have collectively mothered 95.8 million children!
- The moniker ‘Mom’ comes from babies. The first thing a baby can vocalize is the ‘ma’ sound, which is why in almost every language the word for mother begins with the letter ‘M’ or is some iteration of the ‘ma’ sound.
- What she really wants is a reservation somewhere. According to a 2017 RetailMeNot survey, what Mom really wants is a nice meal out with the family. “She doesn’t want to cook, she doesn’t want to be at home, so get her out of the house, take her to her favorite restaurant, enjoy a really nice meal with mom.
- The National Retail Federation estimated last year (2017) that Americans would spend $23.6 billion on Mother’s Day gifts and celebrations, with shoppers spending an average of $186.39 on Mom.
- According to the National Retail Federation, over $5 billion will be spent on jewelry this year (accounting for 35 percent of shoppers). Another 38 percent of consumers will purchase clothing, 15 percent get electronics, and 24 percent will spend $2 billion on personal services (like spa treatments) for their mothers. But if you want to let mom pick out her own gift, you aren’t alone—45 percent of surveyed consumers said they planned to go the gift card route.
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