The earliest Mother's Day celebrations are traced back to the spring celebrations
of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods.
During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday", celebrated on the
4th Sunday of Lent . Most servants lived far from home, and their employers, encourage them
to take a day and visit with their mothers. As Christianity spread throughout Europe the
celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" -- the spiritual power that
gave them life and
protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration .
People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.
In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe
Howe, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic
Day as being dedicated to peace..
In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day.
Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day
on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May.
By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.
Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians
in their quest to establish a national other's Day. It was successful, by 1911 Mother's Day
was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official
announcement proclaiming Mother's Day a national holiday that was to be held each year on the
2nd Sunday of May.
Countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium
also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.
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