The history of Mother's Day

Obviously as jewelers, we’re pretty in-tune with the biggest holidays of the year. While there’s certainly something to love about every holiday, Mother’s Day is one of our favorites (and it has nothing to do with jewelry sales).

Mother’s Day is about honoring the women in our lives that do so much for us, whether it was during our childhood or being the pillar of our relationships and children’s lives now.

Read also: Mother’s Day Ideas

There’s a major misconception that this day was made up by Hallmark as a marketing gimmick, but it’s simply not true! While consumerism has definitely taken its hold on the holiday just like all others, Mother’s Day a much longer history.

The History of Mother’s Day

Earliest origins of Mother’s Day

Some of the earliest Mother’s Day celebrations can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. The Romans celebrated Maga Mater, or the “Great Mother” with a festival every March called the Festival of Hilaria.

The Greeks on the other hand honored Rhea, who was known as the “mother of Gods.” Both the Greeks and Romans marked their celebrations with the presentation of gifts to their respective Gods, which is in part where the current tradition of presenting mothers with gifts originated.

In the 1600’s, churches in medieval Britain celebrated “Mothering Sunday” during Lent, which was a day in which everyone (even down to the servants) were given a day off to visit their mothers.

Mother’s Day in America

Officially, the credit for the Mother’s Day holiday is given to a woman named Anna Jarvis in 1908. A few years prior in 1905, Anna’s mother passed away. Anna’s mother (named Ann and commonly called Mother Jarvis to avoid confusion) was an activist that worked to combat poor sanitation and living conditions that heavily contributed to high mortality rates of children.

The reason for her passion was unfortunate – Mother Jarvis lost eight of her twelve children before they reached the age of seven. She worked to create “Mother’s Day Work Clubs”, which provided nursing care to the sick, poor, and those fighting tuberculosis in the mid-1800’s.

Read also: Five Perfect Gifts for Mother’s Day!

After her mother’s passing, Anna Jarvis wanted to both honor her mother’s achievements as well as honor mothers across the country.

She started small by having her church in West Virginia honor her mother on the day of her passing, but she had much larger aspirations. Working with a wealthy store owner for financial backing, Anna began to lobby across the entire state to politicians and journalists with the hope of creating a real holiday to honor her mother’s legacy.

Eventually, Anna succeeded. After getting over 40 states to recognize Mother’s Day as a holiday, eventually the national holiday was made official by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

Mother’s Day across the world

Since Anna Jarvis’s efforts in the early 1900’s, Mother’s Day has spread around the world and is a regularly celebrated holiday. Many even celebrate their version of the Mother’s Day holiday on the same day that we do in America, and many others across the world have tied their celebrations to religious events of changes of the seasons.

The overarching theme is still the same even if the celebrations look different. Mothers deserve to be celebrated for what they bring to our lives.

Are you interested in finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift from our inventory? Contact to schedule an appointment and find what you are looking for today.

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