Mother’s Day is fast approaching, that time of year where everyone celebrates the support of the women in their life.
Before you all rush off to buy a gift (it’s on May 12th, by the way!) we wanted to take a look at the origins of this date, how it is celebrated in the rest of the world, and of course, the best presents to buy for our moms.
Modern Mother’s Day in the USA can be traced back to a number of different sources. Two people, in particular, are thought to have been the originators of the day that we now celebrate. These are Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis.
One other source tells us about the sons of Juliet Calhoun Blakeley, who in the 1800s paid tribute to her on the same day every year and tried to get others to do likewise.
In 1870, Julia Ward Howe sent out a call for a day dedicated to mothers to be celebrated every year. This was a scheme to encourage non-violence among women. It was held for ten years in Boston under her support.
In 1907, Anna Jarvis held a private Mother's Day celebration in West Virginia, in honor of the memory of her mother. Anna Jarvis was determined that Mother’s Day should be more widely recognized, and so went in search of support, which she eventually found in the shape of a wealthy clothing merchant.
In 1908, she arranged a special Mother’s Day service in the Andrew's Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, which was attended by 407 children and their mothers. This launched the cause of Mother’s Day into the public eye where it quickly gained further support
By 1912 many states, towns and churches celebrated Mother’s Day as a holiday. The Mother’s Day International Association was created by Anna to help support and promote her dream of it being officially recognized. Her campaigning was eventually successful and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially naming the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Now, Mother's Day has become the Sunday that we all know and love, a day that focuses on recognizing mothers' roles. Mother’s Day has also been a traditional date for launching causes which support women. For example, in 1969 Coretta Scott King used Mother’s Day to march in support of underprivileged women and children.
Of course, Mother’s Day is also very good for a lot of businesses, and for many it is the busiest day of the year, overtaking even Christmas. That’s because we love to treat our moms - and what better way to do that than with a gift?
It has been traditional to give gifts on Mother’s Day from its inception in the US. These range from the more traditional fare to modern ideas like spa breaks and bottomless brunches. It’s safe to say that we love to see our mothers smile, and the best way to do that, is with a gift to show her just how much she is appreciated.
Carnations are the traditional flower to give on Mother’s Day because they were Anna Jarvis mother’s favorite flower. She gave 500 of them away at the first ever Mother’s Day, and the tradition has continued in many places, particularly in religious centers. Now, carnations are still very much a part of any bouquet you may buy for Mother’s Day, but other flowers are found alongside them, due to the strange notion that carnations are a ‘cheaper’ flower.
For this reason, and because we are always swayed by what the high street says we should buy, flowers such as roses are very popular, as are orchid plants.
Everyone loves a greeting card, and Mother’s Day is Hallmarks third biggest sales day of the year. Is it perhaps because we all assume that our moms are sentimental and will love a soppy card? Whatever the reason, they still sell, and we keep buying them. There is something about a card that’s just special isn’t there?
Right from the start, greetings cards were a popular gift for Mother’s Day. So much so in fact, that in the 1920s commercialization of the day prompted Anna Jarvis, the person who created it, to call for its abolition. She didn’t like the fact that people were buying cards instead of writing long, heartfelt letters home!
Gifts for Mother’s Day are still quite traditional with the holiday bringing in a significant portion of the US jewelry industry’s annual revenue.
From necklaces to bracelets, giving jewelry to your mother symbolizes that they are the most important woman in your life and that you’ve taken the care to pick out something that they’d really like, and that they would probably have never bought for themselves. There are even Mother’s rings now, a special ring to symbolize what a good mom yours is.
There are some jewelers that we really love, including Earthwise. Founded in Chicago, they are the first jewelry store that is dedicated to creating jewelry that is socially conscious as well as eco-friendly. They design and handcraft all of their items to be of the highest quality, so if you’re looking for that extra special necklace that your mom will treasure forever, Earthwise is a good place to start.
For a more personal gift that your mother can use every day instead of just on a special occasion, a handbag is a great option. Not only does it show that you know their style (and didn’t just pick something from the Mother’s Day range at the jewelers) it is also something that they will get actual use out of, instead of being solely decorative.
At LaBante, we have a handbag for every type of person in your life. From super cute cross body bags to stunning totes, they are designed to be used as well as looking fabulous. Any mom one would love to get one of these as a gift on Mother’s Day.
The great thing about handbags from LaBante is that they are made in a sustainable way, using recycled plastic bottles to create a silky-smooth lining and use only premium vegan leather. So you’re not only getting your mom a gift, but one for the planet as well.
Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates all over the world, and these all have different traditions associated with it. While the Second Sunday in May remains the most common date, with counties adopting the idea from America, some countries have much older traditions, while some have come up with their own dates from much more modern sources.
In the UK and Ireland, Mother’s Day is only slightly different. Traditionally celebrated on the fourth Sunday in lent, which means it changes every year, the roots of this holiday can be traced back to the 16th century. It was created by the Catholic Church as a way to celebrate mothers and the ‘Mother Church’.
Originally, it was the one day of the year when Christians were expected to return to their mother church. In the UK it’s still known by the name of Mothering Sunday, although the more modern name of Mother’s Day is seen on greetings cards and advertisements.
It has followed in America's footsteps when it comes to commercialization. It is now common to send flowers and buy gifts for your mother. Before, it was a Sunday where families all got together to spend time with each other and go to church.
When American Mother’s Day was established, Anna was adamant that it was not the same as the UK’s Mothering Sunday and didn’t have a religious connection. Now, however, only really the dates are different.
Mexicans love their mothers, and the 10th of May is the day that they show it. And they show it as much as possible!
For restaurants in Mexico, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year, without exception. Whether it’s on a Saturday or a Wednesday, the 10th of May is the day when you take your mom out and show her a good time. There’s even a special song that the mariachi sings especially for Mother’s Day.
In Thailand Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the previous queen, Sirikit. It is a massive holiday there and everyone takes it very seriously. Father’s Day is celebrated on the last king’s birthday. There is now a new King and Queen in Thailand, but the holiday is unlikely to move dates.
Ethiopia takes a much more relaxed approach. Instead of one day, they have three at some point in the fall! Families gather together from all over to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, the celebration honoring motherhood.
Mother’s Day, no matter where you live, is a day to think about the wonderful women in your life, and how much they mean to us.
Whether they gave birth to us or not, special women come in many different forms, and it’s great that we have a day to commemorate them and show that we are grateful for everything that they have done for us.