Mothers have a big secret that may not be so secret to those who love them: they are heroes. Not the kind of heroes that fly through the air and fight crime necessarily, but the kind who sacrifice much, love endlessly and nurture wisely with every part of their being. They really are deserving of gratitude each day. But there is one day where all these true heroes are recognized annually: Mother’s Day.
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When Is Mother’s Day 2022?
In 2022, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, May 8. The specific date does change every year, like Father’s Day and Easter, but the rule is easy to remember: Mother’s Day always falls on the second Sunday in May.
What Is the History of Mother’s Day?
Most all of us have known about Mother’s Day all our lives. But the traditions that founded the holiday go back much further. There is historical documentation of mother- and motherhood-centered celebrations and rituals leading back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, although most of them were in association with mother goddesses.
The birth of Mother’s Day perhaps grew out of “Mothering Sunday,” a Christian observance from the Middle Ages that is still recognized today. Relegated mostly to the United Kingdom, Mothering Sunday was originally a day when Christians made an annual pilgrimage to their mother church (the place where they received the sacrament of baptism). Over time, this sacred tradition within the church broadened into gestures more focused on the mothers themselves, which led way to family gatherings and tokens of appreciation and gratitude given to mothers by their children.
These mother-honoring customs and practices would gradually catch on in the United States, but it was really the actions of two women that led to the Mother’s Day celebration that we know today: Ann Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe.
Who Were Ann Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe?
Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis is recognized as the founder of Mother’s Day. A social activist and community organizer during the time of the American Civil War, Jarvis recognized the tremendous sacrifice of mothers and wanted to create an annual day to honor them for their love and contributions to their families and society as a whole.
Born more than 40 years prior to Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe also made a significant contribution to the permanence of Mother’s Day. Known mostly for her political and social activism (as a suffragette and abolitionist) Howe was also an author, and she penned the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870. Less of a call for celebration, more of a call to arms, it was an early feminist document that promoted the unifying of mothers to champion world peace in the wake of the Civil War.
While it was President Woodrow Wilson that made Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914, both Jarvis and Howe are widely acknowledged as important figures in the advent and evolution of the annual occasion, particularly in the U.S. But have you ever wondered how Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world?
How Is Mother’s Day Celebrated Around the World?
Thanks to all the awesome moms out there, the recognition of Mother’s Day is practically universal. While the calendar dates may be different, most countries in the world celebrate the holiday in one way or another. It might not be with brunch at Mom’s favorite restaurant and the gift of a beautiful bracelet with the engraved names and birthstones of all her children, but she is still celebrated worldwide. Did all that Mother’s Day discussion get you thinking about the special woman in your life? That’s perfect! While the history of the holiday certainly can be fascinating, it’s always a good reminder that there would be no Mother’s Day without the incredible heroes we call our moms. May 8 is just around the corner, but The Gift Advisors at The Bradford Exchange are ready to suggest some meaningful Mother’s Day gifts for all she does. Saying “thank you” to your hero is easy, and we are always willing to help you create a moment she will never forget.What Is Mother's Day? Its Origin, History and Celebrations by The Bradford Exchange