Mankind has been honoring mothers since antiquity. In the days of old, only goddesses and mythical female deities were glorified. The ancient Greeks paid tribute to Rhea, mother of many Grecian Gods, while the Egyptians venerated Isis, mother of the pharaohs. Each of these cultures celebrated for several days with parades, games, decorations and food. As Christianity spread the practice of honoring the “Mother Church” became customary. The Mother Church was the church at which one was baptized. Parishioners would pay tribute to their church by decorating it with jewels, flowers and other offerings.
The practice of honoring our “human mothers” began several centuries ago. In the 1600’s European church officials, by a clerical decree, declared that human mothers would now be included in the day of Mothering. This practice would be left behind as British colonist came to America. It would be centuries later before American Anna Jarvis would advocate for a Mother’s Work Day. After Anna died in 1905, her daughter, also named Anna, continued promoting Mother’s Day and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill making Mother’s Day a national holiday.
The American model of a Mother’s Day celebration has spread to most parts of the world and the tradition of giving flowers, jewels and meaningful gifts remains the number one way to honor one’s mother and celebrate their influence on society.
“Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly.”- Sarah Malin