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What is Mother’s Day?

Posted by Asher L. | Found in: Secondary

We all love our mothers; they do everything for us.

They raised us from when we were babies to who we are now.

They put in so much altruistic work just for us, and they deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.

So, once every year we give back to them in the form of Mother’s Day and to celebrate the passing of another great year, in the spirit of our mothers, I thought we should discuss what this day truly means, and it’s origins.

First, a little bit of history. Mother’s Day was started in 1870 following the aftermath of the American Civil War by Julia Ward Howe, to appeal to women to unite and bring peace throughout the world. She proposed that a mother’s day for peace be commemorated every year in June. However, this did not gain traction until 1908, when a West Virginian woman by the name of Anna Marie Jarvis held a church memorial to her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who nursed soldiers during the Civil War and created mother’s day work clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis pushed to have a day set aside to honor all mothers, and in 1914 her campaigning led to US president Woodrow Wilson officially declaring the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day. But this special day didn’t reach Australia until 1924, following the losses of World War I, when a Sydney woman by the name of Janet Heyden started the tradition when she grew concerned about the lonely, forgotten aged mothers at Newington State Hospital. She successfully campaigned for local schools and businesses to donate gifts to the mothers, and so Mother’s Day had reached Australia.

Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the globe, and in many different ways. In France, they celebrate it on the last Sunday of May, and sometimes on the first Sunday of June if it conflicts with the Pentecost, and a traditional gift is a flower shaped cake. In Japan it’s celebrated on the second Sunday of May and gifts include red or pink carnations as they symbolize sweetness and purity, with children drawing pictures of their mothers and making recipes that their mothers have taught them. In Mexico, Mother’s Day is fixed to May 10th, and pretty much the entire country shuts down except for restaurants, with Mother’s Day lunches running for five hours.

But regardless of how you celebrate it, all our mothers deserve this special day we’ve dedicated to them. They put so much effort into raising us from little children to teenagers and even as fully grown adults. With COVID-19 causing many to be separated at this time, it can be difficult to give love through a computer screen or text message, but that shouldn’t stop us from making sure our mothers realize just how important they are, especially in a such a crisis.

So thank you mothers, all of you, for taking care of and raising all of the children, past, present and future, and loving us all unconditionally, even once we’re all grown up.

Enjoy your special day, you deserve it.

Ironically, as I finished writing this article, I asked my mum to give it a once over and she said “sure, after I finish hanging out the washing,” because that’s what mothers do… pretty much everything.

So special thanks Mum!