The History of Mother’s Day

The History of Mother’s Day

Celebrating the hard work of mothers can be tracked back to the worship of a mother deity, such as the Goddess Isis in Ancient Egypt and festivals held by Ancient Greeks and Romans in honor of Rhea and Cybele. In the United Kingdom, their Mothering Sunday was originally dedicated to the “Mother Church” but later was eventually broadened to women as well.

The origins of this holiday begin with its founders. One of the commonly recognized founders of Mother’s Day is President Woodrow Wilson, seen as the “father” of the holiday for signing the proclamation on May 9, 1914 that made the second Sunday of May the day to express love to the mothers all around the country. The other founders are the women who formed and pushed the movement. Anna Jarvis, the “mother” of Mother’s Day, is truly seen as the backbone of the movement that created this wonderful holiday. Anna’s own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, actually helped begin Mother’s Day Work Clubs to educate local women on how to care for their children properly. The clubs grew into a unifying event against an area still broken up due to the Civil War. There’s no questioning where Anna Jarvis got her influence from when it comes to pushing the holiday into existence. When Anna’s mother died in 1905, Jarvis was driven to make her Mother’s dream a reality, so she started a campaign to make a day that people would appreciate mothers. Around that time, Julia Ward Howe, another activist who happened to also be an abolitionist and suffragette, was working to have a “Mother’s Peace Day”. Howe even wrote a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” that called mothers to work together towards world peace. The efforts of these women eventually created the holiday we know today that’s dedicated to showing the love and gratitude we have to the women that have made sacrifices for their children.



 Ann Jarvis

 Anna Jarvis



Throughout history many people used the holiday as a launch pad for campaigns such as Martin Luther King Jr’s wife, Coretta Scott King, hosting  a rally to support underprivileged women and children in 1968.

Fun fact: The reason why we use “Mother’s” as a singular possession is to emphasize on the importance of each individual mom around the world.

Mother’s Day has a variety of dates it’s held on worldwide. Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Mexico, and other places celebrate on May 10. If the day happens to land on a weekday, some countries let women and children take the day off. Spain and Portugal hold it on December 8 on their Feast of the Immaculate Conception as to honor mothers along with the Virgin Mary. Sweden and France celebrate on the last Sunday in May, while South Africa celebrates the first Sunday in May. One last place with a different date than the US is Thailand; there, Mother’s Day is in August on the current queen’s birthday.

 Young Sirikit, Queen of Thailand

Overall no matter when or where the holiday is celebrated, the day’s history brought upon a wonderful day to appreciate mother’s everywhere!