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Why Mother’s Day

Today as we celebrate Mother's Day, know the historical significance of Mother's Day.

entertainment Updated: May 09, 2010 14:45 IST

The history of Mother’s Day is centuries old and goes back to the times of ancient Greeks, who held festivities to honour Rhea, the mother of the Gods. The early Christians celebrated the Mother’s festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent to honour Mary, the mother of Christ.

Interestingly, later on, a religious order stretched the holiday to include all mothers, and named it the Mothering Sunday. The English colonists settled in America and discontinued the tradition of Mothering Sunday because of lack of time.

In 1872 Julia Ward Howe organised a day for mothers dedicated to peace. It is a landmark in the history of Mother’s Day.

In 1907, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), a Philadelphia schoolteacher, began a movement to set up a national Mother’s Day in honour of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She solicited the help of hundreds of legislators and prominent businessmen to create a special day to honour mothers.

The first Mother’s Day observance was a church service honouring Anna’s mother. Her hard work finally paid off in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday in honour of mothers.