“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ~Washington Irving
One might wonder if anyone anticipated the importance the day would gain when Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official day of celebration in the United States in 1914. The official Mother’s Day as most people know it originated with Anna Jarvis to recognize the sacrifices of her mother and all other mothers. But a day honoring mothers is not unique to the United States.
Around the world, a day to honor mothers typically falls between March and May. However, each month at least one country observes a day for mothers. And many of these celebrations have a long history. In the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, a similar day was the Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” In some places it eventually merged with the American Mother’s Day celebrated in May, but in others it is still celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In Thailand Mother’s Day is now celebrated in August. In Ethiopia families gather in the fall for Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.
No matter when or how it is celebrated, what is important about this day is its purpose: to recognize the caring, nurturing, supportive, sacrificial love of mothers. As you celebrate Mother’s Day this year, remember that it is a day not only to honor your own mother but also to honor any woman who has exemplified those wonderful qualities of a mother in your life.