People around the world celebrate Mother’s Day, honoring mothers’ contributions to their families and communities.
In the United States as well as in other countries, Mother’s Day observations reflect diverse traditions and cultural influences, according to Wikipedia.
In the 19th century, Ann Jarvis organized Mother’s Friendship Day with a vision to bring together families divided by the stresses of the Civil War. Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, would carry on the concept, as described below.
A more formal observation of Mother’s Day began on May 10, 1908, with a worship service at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Even though the first observation took place in a church, the day was not rooted in religion or religious beliefs.
“Most cultures celebrate mothers, because they are traditionally the main caregiver, which comes with great responsibility,” wrote Mei-Ling Hopgood, author of How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting.
According to the academic publication Scholastic, a Japanese version of Mother’s Day became widespread after World War II. The focus was to comfort mothers who had lost sons in the war. Red and white carnations symbolized the sweetness of motherhood. Children presented a living mother with a red carnation, and displayed a white one if their mother had died. The custom has since evolved into using white carnations for everyone.
Ethiopia observes Mother’s Day with its Antrosht festival in the fall. Families gather for meals and a celebration. Daughters customarily supply vegetables and cheese for the meals, with sons providing the meat. The Ethiopian custom includes singing and dancing, and acknowledging family heroes.
Following the many lives lost in World War I, the French expressed particular appreciation for mothers with big families, recognizing the importance of restoring the country’s population. Mothers received medals and a flower shaped cake.
Hindus recognize Durga, the goddess of mothers, in a 10-day fiesta called Durga Puja. The event, which dates back to the 16th century, serves as both a family reunion and a religious ceremony. A story frequently told in conjunction with the celebration is that of Durga bringing her children to their grandparents’ home to show them off. Families invest much time and energy in decorating their homes, acquiring gifts and preparing food for the event.
In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase Mother’s Day, to indicate through the singular possessive construction that each family should honor its own mother, rather than the plural possessive implying a celebration of all mothers around the globe.
President Woodrow Wilson used Jarvis’s trademark spelling in his proclamation of Mother’s Day in 1914, and other presidents followed suit.
“My Mom passed away, but I know she loved me all through her life. I miss her and continue to love her, and I thank God for giving me such a loving Mom,”
“Momma I love you, you are always there for me, you’re my baby girl, family forever.” ―Dante D. Jones
“Mothers are one of a kind, and my mother was the most beautiful, caring, and loving mother, you’re always on my mind, love your son.” ―Victor Hernandez
“I want to thank my ma for always being there through thick and thin, she never gave up on me.” I want to express my gratitude with a Happy Mother’s Day”
“I like to say happy Mother’s day to all mothers, to the mother that’s there and to the mothers not there. Mothers are a holy divine sprit, without mothers there would be no you. They create life.” ―KP
“I am thankful for the life she gave me regardless if it was not the best, I’m thankful for the life she gave.”
“Mom although you been gone for a couple of decades, I still think about and love you every day. May you be in heaven Insha Allah, (God Willing)”
―Bruce Hanif Wells Jr
“Grateful for our mother earth, and moms before us, and the moms for them paving the way.” ―Christopher Craig
“Much love and respect to all the moms we wouldn’t be who we are without you, the keepers of the warriors, thank you.”
“For me a mother is the first person you are introduced to in this world. Internally in the womb, and externally held within her arms outside in the world.”
―Floyd D. Collins
“I am so happy I still have you Ma. God kept you in my life. No matter how bad my choices were in life, thank you for being there for me, my beautiful awesome Mama. Happy Mother’s day, love always your son.” ―Tommy Wickerd
“I would like to recognize all the single mothers who are raising their kid on their own. This is in recognition of my beautiful mother who is in heaven, she raised four boys on her own, it was not easy, but she did it, because of her I know how to love. Happy Mother’s Day.” ―Jose Luque
“My mother passed in 1986, however, her love and strength continues to empower me and give me focus. Happy Mother’s Day Hazel Adams in spirit,”
“To my mother Gail Marie Mitchell-Taylor our relationship has had incredible ups and downs, but through the last seven years of incarceration, you have shown me the mother I have always wanted which inspires me to show you the son you always wanted. With Love and happy Mother’s Day, your son”
―Nakia “Majestic” Khantrell King
“To my amazing mother Maria, you are my rock. When the world was crumbling around me you held me up, even when I could barely hold myself up. I love you with all my heart.”
Mother: Words alone aren’t enough to express my deepest gratitude, admiration and love for you. Your strength, sacrifices, your resiliency, your patience, and your grace have carried our family forward despite many obstacles. You embodied courage and love. For that I am forever grateful. Without you, there would be no me. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! ―Dao Ong