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History of Mother's Day

Believe it or not, Mother's Day is not a Hallmark-conceived holiday. Its roots actually trace back to Ancient Greece. Rhea, who was declared the Mother of the gods (Metros Theon) and men of Olympus, was honored during Spring Festivals. In third century B.C., Romans also paid tribute to their Mother goddess, Cybele.

However, you have to leap forward nearly two millenniums to find any further evidence of recognition. In the 17th century, England created 'Mothering Sunday,' which was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In those days, servants generally resided with their employers, but were ordered to return home that day to honor their mothers. Eventually, the holiday was expanded to include all mothers.

Here in the United States, Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia is credited with the start of Mother's Day. In 1908, she convinced her church to celebrate Mother's Day on the anniversary of her mother's death on May 10th. She took it a step further by initiating a letter-writing campaign to religious, business, and political leaders, pushing for a national Mother's Day. The letters paid off, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday, to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Today, Mother's Day is considered to be the highest single-day volume of telephone call traffic. In addition, Mother's Day greeting cards represent the third highest card-sending holiday in America, behind Christmas and Valentine's Day.

Mother's Day Celebrated second Sunday in May