Mothering Sunday in the UK has been and gone, but in many countries, Mother’s Day is yet to come.
The international holiday created by the Americans to show your mum just how much you care. International Mother’s Day 2012 falls on May 13th and we thought you might like to know how this day came about….
When English settlers came to America in the late 16th century they dropped the idea of Mothering Sunday, a feast day which allowed children working away from home some time off to visit their mothers.
It’s unclear why the settlers dropped Mothering Sunday. Some say it was because it went against their puritan ideals – most had fled England to pursue a more conservative Christian life and they didn’t have the time for the less significant holy days.
The Mother’s Day, as it is known in America, wasn’t invented until centuries later. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe was so devastated by the carnage of the American Civil War she wanted to bring mothers together to bring a halt to their sons killing one another. She called for an international day to celebrate peace and motherhood.
Despite wanting to make Independence Day – July 4th – into Mother’s Day, it was eventually set for June 2nd, with 18 North-American cities observing the holiday. Howe started by funding these celebrations, but as soon as she stopped taking on the bill the celebrations died out.
A West Virginia women’s group, led by Anna Reeves Jarvis, continued the spirit of the day. They worked to reunite families separated by the Civil War. When Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day. Anna spoke to the superintendent of the local church and her request was honoured. Her mother had taught Sunday school in that church for more than 10 years. The first official Mother’s Day took place on May 10th 1908.
Carnations – Anna’s mother’s favourite flowers – were given to every one in attendance on the day. All mothers received two of the flowers.
By 1909, 46 states were holding Mother’s Day services, as were parts of Canada and Mexico. Anna quit her job to pursue making Mother’s Day a national holiday. She endlessly petitioned the government, churches and women’s groups. Soon the World Sunday School Association backed her and in 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognise the holiday.
Then, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance. He declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day. The holiday flourished and flowers were the most popular gift to give on Mother’s Day, especially white carnations.
Interflora delivers to more than 140 countries and that means that even if you can’t be with your mum on Mother’s Day you can still let her know you are thinking of her.
We have thousands of Interflora florists dedicated to getting your flowers out on time for Mother’s Day. With various delivery options, including same-day delivery to most countries, you can always be sure your flowers will arrive fresh.
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