A History of Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is an annual holiday intended to recognize the important contribution that mothers make to their families and society as a whole. In Canada and the United States it is celebrated on the second Sunday of every May and the traditional gift for mom is flowers.

Mother’s Day is often complicated by troubled relationships with mothers and children, tragic losses, gender identity, and more. We may be conscious of many people in our lives who “mothered” us. In history, there have been many different ways of celebrating mothers and motherhood.

In addition to the popular Mother’s Day holiday in the United States, many cultures celebrate a Mother’s Day:

  • Mother’s Day in Britain—or Mothering Sunday—is the fourth Sunday in Lent.
  • The second Sunday in May is Mother’s Day not only in the United States, but also in other countries including Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium. By the end of Anna Jarvis’ life, Mother’s Day was celebrated in more than 40 countries.
  • In Spain, Mother’s Day is December 8, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so that not only mothers in one’s family are honored, but also Mary, mother of Jesus.
  • In France, Mother’s Day is on the last Sunday of May. A special cake resembling a bouquet of flowers is presented to mothers at a family dinner.
  • The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, the League of Women Voters and other organizations still organize protests on Mother’s Day: The Million Mom March, protests at nuclear weapons sites, etc.

People in many ancient cultures celebrated holidays honoring motherhood, personified as a goddess. Here are just a few of those:

  • Ancient Greeks celebrated a holiday in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods.
  • Ancient Romans celebrated a holiday in honor of Cybele, a mother goddess, March 22-25 – the celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome.
  • In the British Isles and Celtic Europe, the goddess Brigid, and later her successor St. Brigid, were honored with a spring Mother’s Day, connected with the first milk of the ewes.

• In the United States, there are about 82.5 million mothers. (source: US Census Bureau)

• About 96% of American consumers take part in some way in Mother’s Day (source: Hallmark)

• Mother’s Day is widely reported as the peak day of the year for long distance telephone calls.

• There are more than 23,000 florists in the United States with a total of more than 125,000 employees. Colombia is the leading foreign supplier of cut flowers and fresh flower buds to the US. California produces two-thirds of domestic production of cut flowers. (source: US Census Bureau)

• Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for many restaurants.

• Retailers report that Mother’s Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States (Christmas is the highest).

• Most popular month for having babies in the U.S. is August, and the most popular weekday is Tuesday. (source: US Census Bureau)

• About twice as many young women were childfree in the year 2000 as in the 1950s (source: Ralph Fevre, The Guardian, Manchester, March 26, 2001)

• In the US, 82% of women ages 40-44 are mothers. This compares to 90% in 1976. (source: US Census Bureau)

• In Utah and Alaska, women on the average will have three children before the end of their childbearing years. Overall, the average in the United States is two. (source: US Census Bureau)

• In 2002, 55% of American women with infant children were in the workforce, compared to 31% in 1976, and down from 59% in 1998. In 2002, there were 5.4 million stay-at-home mothers in the US. (source: US Census Bureau)

 

Founder Anna Jarvis used carnations at the first Mother’s Day celebration because carnations were her mother’s favorite flower.

  • Wearing a white carnation is to honor a deceased mother, wearing a pink carnation is to honor a living mother.

https://www.thoughtco.com/mothers-day-history-4042566

Historical Facts About Cinco De Mayo You Should Know

By Adam Schubak, Jamie Ballard

Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a huge celebration in many communities across the U.S. meant to honor Mexican culture and heritage. But why do we celebrate it in the first place?

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day.
Many people believe that Cinco de Mayo marks Mexico gaining independence as a country, similar to Independence Day in the U.S. And while it does celebrate a national victory, Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexican Independence Day (which is actually on September 16).  Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for May 5) celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Mexico was the underdog in the Battle of Puebla. The Battle of Puebla was part of the Franco-Mexican War. One of the reasons it’s so significant is because the French army was much larger and more prepared than the Mexican army. They had more weaponry and men at their disposal, but the French still lost the battle to Mexico (though they did eventually win the war).

Mexican President Benito Juárez made it a holiday.
The anniversary of the Battle of Puebla was declared a national holiday referred to as “Battle of Puebla Day” or “Battle of Cinco de Mayo” by President Benito Juárez on May 9, 1862. However, it’s no longer considered a national holiday in Mexico.

President Franklin Roosevelt helped bring Cinco de Mayo celebrations to the U.S.
The holiday started to be celebrated in the U.S. after President Roosevelt created the “Good Neighbor Policy” in 1933 to improve relations with Latin American countries.

There’s an official holiday dish.
Mole poblano is considered to be the official dish of the holiday because it is traditionally eaten in the town of Puebla. It’s a sauce containing chili pepper, chocolate, and spices.

It’s growing in popularity, especially in California.  Also, Every year, more and more towns across the U.S. plan Cinco de Mayo festivities and parades, and it’s extending across the globe to places like Australia, South Africa, and Japan.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/did-you-know/historical-facts-about-cinco-de-mayo-you-should-know/ss-BBVMdqC?ocid=spartanntp#image=16

 

 

Chicago by Carl Sandburg

Chicago

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

 

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted
women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the
gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and
children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city,
and I give them back a sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive
and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold
slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted
against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs
the heart of people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked,
sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player
with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

 

Written by Carl Sandburg, Poet Laureate of Illinois