A Day for Mom
Whether you call yours mom, mother, or mama, this coming Sunday -- May 8 -- is her special day! But why do we celebrate moms in America, and how did the holiday originate? It's a tale that stretches back to ancient times... Celebrations of mothers and motherhood date back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, who held festivals in honors of goddesses. An early Christian holiday for mothers was called "Mothering Sunday" and used to be held in part of Europe and the UK. It was traditionally held on the fourth Sunday of Lent and was meant as a time when churchgoers would return to their "mother church" for a special service. In time, children would honor their mothers on this day with flowers and gifts -- a tradition that faded in popularity once Mothers Day became a nationally recognized holiday in Great Britain. In the U.S., however, Mother's Day has its roots in the 19th century in the years before the Civil War. Ann Reeves Jarvis held "Mothers Day Work Clubs" in West Virginia to give parenting tips to young mothers. The clubs made their way across the country and in 1868 Jarvis started "Mothers' Friendship Day" in which mothers gathered with their solder sons. Mother's Day became an official holiday in the U.S. thanks to Jarvis' daughter Anna. After her mother passed away in 1905, Anna sought a holiday to honor her as well as all mothers that have made sacrifices. In May 1908 she organized the first Mother's Day celebration at a West Virginia church and by 1912 many other states had joined in on the tradition. It became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. At a time when women still didn't have the right to vote, Mother's Day was one small step towards recognizing women -- specifically mothers -- for all that they do. So don't forget your mom this Sunday, and be sure to tell her you're thankful for all that she does!
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