The tradition of Mother’s Day

Today Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world although not necessarily the same date. This year it will be celebrated in South Africa on Sunday 11 May.

People take the day as an opportunity to pay tribute to their mothers, grandmothers, caregivers and all mother figures by thanking them for all their love and support.  There is also a tradition of gifting flowers, cards and gifts to mothers on this special day. The day has become commercialised to a great extent. Florists, card manufacturers and gift sellers see huge business potential in the day campaign. But this need not put any pressure on you; a simple ‘Thank You’ is just as much appreciated.  Homemade cards by the kids are great for mothers and grandmothers or a cup of tea in bed, a rare occurrence for a busy Mom.

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in US.  Ironically, Anna Jarvis never married and never had kids.  She is also known as the Mother of Mother’s Day, an apt title for the lady who worked hard to bestow honour on all mothers globally.

During her childhood, Anna’s inspiration to celebrate Mother’s Day was originally obtained from her own mother Mrs Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis.  As an activist and social worker, her mother used to express her desire that someday someone should honour all mothers, living and dead, and pay tribute to the contributions made by them.

Anna never forgot her mother’s wish and when she passed away in 1905, Anna grew more adamant to fulfil this idea. Her ambition was fuelled by the growing negligent attitude of adult Americans towards their mothers. Although she was successful in 1914, she was equally disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s.

The simplicity of a gift is often much more appreciated such as home baked goods, flowers from your own garden and a personalized handmade card with your own special words of thanks.

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