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Mother's Day
  Last updated June, 2007.

Mother's Day is observed on the Second Sunday in May.

TimeLine of Mother's Day       -       Mother's Day 'round the World
Mother's Love!     -      Mother's Day Trivia
Mother's Day Links

Mother's Day of old & Around the World

Mother's Day observances around the world are celebrated on different days often with several differing origins.

   Ancient Greece had mother worship with a festival to Rhea, the mother of Greek gods, the wife of Cronus. Ancient Romans worshipped Cybele a mother goddess celebrating Hilaria a three day festival called the Ides of March (March 15 to March 18). The Romans also had the holiday Matrionalia that celebrated Juno with gift giving to mothers. Ancient festivals did not specifically honor mother.

The early Christians celebrated Mother's festival on the
   Mothering Sunday, also commonly called "Mother's Day" in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Nigeria is on the fourth Sunday of Lent; three weeks before Easter Sunday. 16th Century Christians practiced visiting their mother's church annually thus providing mothers a reunion with their children.
   In many other nations the Mother's Day concept was copied from Western Civilization.  Many African countries copied the British concept, although many celebrations honoring mothers had existed for centuries among the various diverse African cultures. Most of East Asia copied the marketed and commercialized aspect of the American concept.
   Norway celebrates Mother's Day on the Second Sunday in February. Israel has Shevat which falls between January 30th and March 1st.
Georgia celebrates on March 3rd. Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Laos, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine celebrate Mother's Day on March 8th. Belarus, Macedonia, Mongolia, Romania, Russia Celebrate the holiday as International Women's Day on March 8th.
Sauidi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen celebrate on March 21st. Slovenia celebrates on March 25th and Armenia on April 7th. Nepal celebrates Mother's Day on the new-moon of the first month of the Bangla Calendar.
Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain celebrate on the first Sunday in May. Mother's Day is celebrated on May 8th in South Korea and Albania actually celebrating Parent's Day. Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Oman Celebrate Mother's Day on May 10th.
Most Countries designate the Second Sunday in May for Mother's Day; Anguilla, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Bulgaria, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Malta. Malaysia, Myanmar, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, St. Lucia, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinadid and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uraguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and the United States.
Poland celebrates Mother's Day on May 26th with Bolivia on May 27th.
Mother's Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in May in Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sweden, Morocco, Mauritius, and Algeria. France also celebrates on the last Sunday unless it conflicts with Pentecost day when it is pushed to the first Sunday in June. Nicaragua celebrates Mother's Day on May 30th.
Mongolia celebrates a second celebration as Mothers and Childrens Day as the only country to celebrate Mother's Day twice a year.
Thailand celebrates Mother's Day on August 12th, the birthday of Qween Sirikit Kitiyakara. Antwerp (Belgium) and Costa Rica celebrate the day on August 15th. Argentina designates the third Sunday in October. Malawi celebrates on the second Monday in October. Russia has a Mother's Day on the Last Sunday in November. Panama on November 8th and Indonesia on December 22nd.  Iran and other Muslim sects including the Shias celebrate on the 2oth of Jurnada al-thani of the Iranian calendar and is also called Women's Day.

Mother's Day TimeLine
>> The earliest American celebrations of Mother were associated with women's suffrage or the promotion of peace.
Mother's Day was the brainchild of two or more women with Mary Towles Sasseen and Miss Anna Jarvis being the two most prominent for their efforts to have Mother's Day made a National observance. Other observances celebrated elsewhere across the nation failed to garner much attention. All observances placed the concept into the consciousness of the nation allowing the efforts of Anna Jarvis to blossom into the National Observance of Mother's Day.
>> One legend of Mother's Day:
A Pastor was interrupted to tend to his wayward son. A lady walked to the pulpit to ask all to join her in prayer supporting the pastor. That woman's children were so proud of her that they determined to honor her on the same day every year. Those children suggested that others to do the same for their mothers. This may have been just one of the many observances that did not gain momentum and have been forgotten in the passing of those attending.
1858 Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker beginning in 1858 had worked to improve sanitation through her organizing "Mother's Work Days."  During the Civil War she organized women to work for better sanitary conditions for both the North and the South.
1868 In 1868 Ann Marie Jarvis actively worked toward reconciliation of Union and Confederate neighbors. To help heal the pain of war, Jarvis held an annual observance, "Mother's Friendship Day."
1870 Inspired by Ann Marie Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, using the British Holiday of "Mothering Day" as a pretense, lobbied for a an official "Mother's Day of Peace." Her attempts failed.

Julia Ward Howe, the author of the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870.
  Mother's Day Proclamation   by Julia Ward Howe
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly: "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God - In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
1872 Julia Ward Howe had suggested an "International Mother's Day" to celebrate motherhood and peace. and a She also attempted to organize a "Woman's Peace Congress." Howe failed to raise the indignation of the world's women against peace and resigned herself to the fact, "The ladies who spoke in public in those days mostly confined their labors to the advocacy of woman suffrage, and were not much interested in my scheme of a world-wide protest of women against the cruelties of war."
1870s Other women active in local organizations across the nation held annual Mother's Day remembrances, though most would fade into the unknown past.
1885 Mary Towles Sasseen, a school principal in Henderson, Kentucky wrote stories and poems for students to recite on her mother's birthday. She called the April 20th observance, "Mother's Day Celebration" and invited the mothers of the students to attend. Mary Sasseen often promoted the theme of a Mother's Day and nearly as often would express her desire that she would like to see Mother's Day become a national observance.
1893 Mary Towles Sasseen had promoted the idea of a national observance, Mother's Day, choosing her mother's birthday of April 20th. In 1893 Mary Sasseen published a "Mother's Day Celebration" pamphlet to define Mother's Day. Within the pamphlet she suggested that celebrating Mother's Day once a year, love and respect due to parents would be instilled into the next generation. Sasseen's pamphlet said, "Home as the magic circle within which the weary spirit finds refuge; the sacred asylum to which the care-worn heart retreats to find rest. Home! That name touches every fiber of the soul. Nothing but death can break its spell, and dearer than home is the mother who presides over it."
1894 Mary Sasseen succeeded in getting the Public Schools of Springfield, Ohio to celebrate Mother's Day.
1899 Campaigning for Superintendent of Public Instruction Miss Mary Sasseen runs an advertisement in the May 6th Saturday Morning Gleaner that says, "She is the author and originator of Mother's Day. Within the past five years she has, unaided, secured the adoption of the day in a large number of States, and cities like Boston, Brooklyn and Little Rock have had from 10,000 to 14,000 pupils in line, singing songs of home and reciting poems in honor of mother."
1904 Sasseen had devoted her life to children and promoting a Mother's Day, then in a twist of fate, having wed just two years before, dies in childbirth.
1907 Unaware of Mary Towles Sasseen's efforts that resulted in Mother's Day being celebrated in many states, Anna Jarvis of West Virginia invites a friend to join her in commemorating the anniversary of her mother's death on the second Sunday in May, 1907. She tells her friend of her plans to attempt to establish a national observance of Mother's Day. Anna Jarvis will write thousands of letters to ministers, teachers, business and professional men about her plans. Observances are established in many churches and homes in Philadelphia.
1908 During the spring of 1908, Anna Jarvis wrote to the pastor of Andrew's Methodist Church, in Grafton, West Virginia, where her mother, Ann Marie Jarvis, had taught Sunday School. She asked that a Mother's Day service be held in honor of her mother. That morning service, of May 10th, 1908, was attended by 407 people.  Anna Jarvis had sent 500 white carnations to the church where each mother wore two blossoms and each son and daughter wore one. Anna Jarvis founded the "Mother's Day International Association.
1910 West Virginia became the first State to officially recognize Mother's Day in 1910.
1912 The custom of Mother's Day had been established in 45 states by 1912 or shortly after.
1912 A few states had declared Mother's Day an official holiday.
1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first National Mother's Day in 1914. The declaration promotes displaying the flag to honor mothers whose sons had died in the Great War (World War I).
1916 Becomes a holiday
1923 Nine years had passed since the first official Mother's Day observance with the holiday becoming so commercialized that even Anna Jarvis became prominent in opposition to what the holiday had become. Anna Jarvis had filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother's Day festival that commercialized the holiday. She was once arrested for "disturbing the peace" at a war mothers' convention where white carnations were being sold as a fund raiser. Jarvis has once stated, "This is not what I intended. I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit!"
1948 Anna Jarvis died in 1948.  She had never married and had no children. Jarvis had spent the last of her money and her life to stop the commercialization of the Mother's Day she had worked to establish.
2007 This Mother's Day page is dedicated to the PoetPatriot's mother-in-law and the memory of his mother, Patricia Jean (Pickett) (Hancock) Lowen.  His wife's (Tracie Lynn) mother is Beverly Lucille (Carlton) Blair, who is still yet with us.

Mother's Day Trivia


   Anna Jarvis had chosen white carnations to represent the enduring sweet purity of a mother's love. Eventually red carnations had come to show a mother is still alive, while white carnations means Mother has passed on. Roses still remain more popular to express love, even to mother.
Mother's Day accounts for nearly a fourth of all floral purchases for holidays. The United States has more than 23,000 florists employing nearly 120,000 people. California produces two thirds of the domestic cut flower production, although Colombia leads, supplying America with the bulk of the cut flowers and fresh bulbs consumed.
   45 % of flowers sold were fresh flowers with mixed bouquets, roses, and carnations topping the list, respectively. Outdoor plants sold for Mother's day came in at 37% with the most popular being; geraniums, impatiens, and petunias. The final 17% were houseplants; azaleas, African violets, lilies, and chrysanthemums.

Greeting Cards

   Mother's Day is the third among holidays for sending greeting cards. Mother's Day cards exchanged top 150,000,000 with an average of 2.5 per each household that sends Mother's Day cards.
   There are 119 greeting card publishers in the United States employing almost 16,000 people. Sales of greeting cards grossed 5 billion dollars in 2002. The most Mother's Day cards are purchased by young parents and older couples.

 Mother's Gifts

   The retail market shows Mother's Day to be second only to Christmas in sales for gift-giving.

Phone Home

   More phone calls are made on Mother's Day than any other day of the year. Mother's Day is second to Father's Day in collect calls, dialed to home.


   According to the US Census Bureau there are 82.5 million mothers. Twice as many women remained childless in the year 2000 than during the 1950's.  Counting all American women before the end of childbearing years,  the average number of children are two. Utah and Alaska have the high of 3 children averaged over all women in those states.


   40% of births are to first time mothers with an average age of just over 25 years and one month.  August seems to be the month when more women give birth becoming a mother or becoming one again. Of the weekdays more babies are born on Tuesdays.
  The odds of mother having twins are 1 in 32. The odds of having triplets or more are 1 in 540 deliveries.

Single Mothers

   There are 10,000,000 single mothers living with minor children.  In 1970 there were only 3,000,000 single mothers with minor children.

Working Mothers

2002 statistics show that 55 percent of American women with infants, were employed. That was down 4 percent from 1998. In the U.S. in 2002 5,400,000 mother's stayed at home to care for their children. 63% of college-educated mothers with infant children were employed. 72% of mothers between 15 and 44 that do not have infants are employed.

Over 40

   Since the 90s women between 40-45 who are mothers have dropped 8 percent, to 82 percent of women. Only 10% will end their

Miscellaneous Mother's Trivia

   In America, Mother's Day is the most popular day to dine out at a restaurant.
   Mother's Day had become a time-mark for planting Tomatoes outdoors, after the holiday.
   Many Native American Indian tribes have long honored their mother's gift of "motherhood to the tribes," with the name, "Life of the Nation."
Buddha says, "As a mother, even at the risk of her own life, loves and protects her child, so let a man cultivate love without measure toward the whole world." 
   The Greek word "meter" and the Sanskrit word "mantra" has two common meanings, mother and measurement.
Adam is the father of mankind, while Eve is the "mother of All the living."
A Mother's Love

   Mothers sacrifice; in child bearing, in watching the bumps and bruises, and then when the child leaves home to start a new life. A mother's love never fades, even though became estranged. Some have a loving close relationship to their mothers while others do not. Though one may feel hurt by actions of their mother, their mother is also hurt by the silence.  God gave mothers a special love that forgives through great pain.
   Love for mother never fades though we may cover with bitter rage. Even though you felt a perceived wrong, your mother only meant the best. Reconciliation is the responsibility of the child to let past hurts die in the past. Sometimes a heart to heart talk will work it out. If not; forgive, forget, move on in love.
   The mother's love brought their child through birth, the terrible twos, "why mommy, why?", school, teenage rebellion, to the leaving the nest. Mother goes through all that for what? That we dishonor her over a perceived or even real wrong? How selfish of us ! Though you succeed in hurting your mother back, you will hurt yourself more. Bitterness eats at the soul and the body reducing joy and happiness and shortening the life span. Forgiveness is commanded by God. Revenge is His. We are to love and forgive. ...Come on ! especially on Mother's Day !
   Honor mom, remember the good. Remember the caring touch, the meals made, the band aid on the knee. Forgive, forget the negatives, now is the time to honor mom.
   "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am, I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her." - George Washington

- Roger W Hancock, © June 1, 2007,

Mother's Day Links

Poetry of a Mother's Love - PoetPatriot
Activities n Greetings for Mother's Day!
Quotes on Mothers
Gift Crafts for Mother
Restaurants in/around Auburn, Washington


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© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 


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