Mother's Day, sometimes written as Moms Day, is a unique holiday in the United States since it is not named after any particular person or event. This day is dedicated to honoring the millions of mothers across the country who have spent countless hours raising and caring for their children. It is a very special day for Americans, because no matter what race, religion, or political party one belongs to, everyone loves his or her mother. This can be a great thing for a country which celebrates several other holidays on its calendar dedicated to a specific person or event important to the country's history or future.
History of Mother's Day
In the United States, there was no Mother's Day before 1908. Going back before this date there were some small movements which were begun to try to establish one, but the day never materialized. Instead, the idea was postponed until 1908 when one woman named Anna Jarvis started the first Mother's Day celebration in West Virginia. She campaigned for a national day on which everyone would focus on the importance of the mother in the family.
Anna Jarvis was from West Virginia. While there is no certain proof that West Virginians love their mothers less, rural West Virginia has never been the most forward looking area of the United States. One may expect Mother's Day to have been started in one of the country's urban centers like New York City, Chicago, or Boston. However, it was Anna Jarvis from West Virginia who actually got the day established. She did it.
After Anna Jarvis got initial support for the establishment of Mother's Day, she appealed directly to the President of the United States for federal support of the holiday. President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the creation of a national Mother's Day in 1914. The holiday was loved by many, and the idea took off. With the increasing industrialization and commercialization of the American economy during this time, the holiday was taken up by industry, seen as a way to profit from the general public. As the years progressed, the holiday got more and more popular.
Towards the end of her life, Anna Jarvis, the brave woman who helped establish the first Mother's Day in the United States, fought against the commercialization of the holiday. She considered those who bought greeting cards to be lazy, because they couldn't be bothered making their own cards. Anna Jarvis was even arrested once while protesting against the holiday she helped create.
Despite her protests, Americans continue to love Mother's Day. The many traditions are evidence that the holiday is as strong as ever.
Traditions and Rituals of Mother's Day
In the United States, it is customary to treat one's mother with care and love to a high degree. Typically, this is manifested by children taking their mothers out for lunch or dinner, presenting them with gifts and cards, and also giving some sort of springtime flower. Also, photographs are usually taken with one's mother on this day. The weather is quite perfect for such an occasion, as spring time is in full swing in the United States by this week in May.
Going out to eat has become an American tradition like none other. Industry statistics show that it may be the busiest day of the entire year for people to go out to eat on. This is an impressive fact for a country that loves to go out to eat.
Placement on the Calendar
Mother's Day in the United States always comes on the second Sunday in May. For Christian families, the morning church service is also an integral part of Mother's Day celebrations. In addition, each church will hold a special ceremony to honor the mothers who are in the congregation. Typically a special prayer is held for mothers to be able to have the strength to continue their important duties as mothers. Also, at the end of the service, flowers are usually presented to the mothers in the congregation.
Common Activities for Mother’s Day in the United States
For those celebrating Mother’s Day in the US, several activities are usually enjoyed. The day may start off with someone in the family making breakfast in bed, a way to show appreciation for one's mom. Next, special time with the family will be had, perhaps at a local park or shopping center. Next, a special lunch will be eaten by the mother and her family. The afternoon will be spent doing what the mother likes doing most, with dinner time being a special time of good food and gifts. At night, the family may spend time playing board games or just relaxing together at home, because the following Monday is a work day for everyone.
Longevity of Mother’s Day in the USA
Mother’s Day was not the only Protestant holiday which started around one hundred years ago. There were other days which were begun around the same time, such as Children's Day and Temperance Sunday, but these days have lost much of their importance over time.
One of the reasons given for the success of Mother’s Day in the United States is that it was heavily supported by certain industries such as the florist industry. Florists loved the emergence of Mother’s Day in the USA, and helped advertise and promote it. Additionally, companies which wrote and published greeting cards saw Mother’s Day as a very important holiday in their annual line up. They did much to promote the celebration of Mother’s Day around the country in order to raise awareness and appreciation for Mother’s Day in the United States.
Mother’s Day is unlikely to go away anytime soon; with it being engrained in the modern generation's psyche of what is a real holiday and what is not. Thus, the next Mother’s Day, it is a good idea to show one's mother how much she is appreciated by her children.