Holidays + Occasions

The History of Mother's Day

Monday, April 20, 2020

We all know that Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate Moms everywhere. But do you know the history of this holiday?

Mother with red hair embracing her child against a textured wall, conveying a warm, emotional moment of family affection and connection.

Every May, on the second Sunday, children both young and old honor their mothers on Mother’s Day. Although the first official festival celebrating mothers was a modern day Christian celebration dubbed Mothering Sunday, the concept actually goes back much further. These celebrations of motherhood can be traced all the way back to the ancient Greek and Roman societies. Participants of this custom held celebrations to honor the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

In the UK and many other parts of Europe, the custom corresponded with Lent and was associated with participants attending their “mother church” (the church nearest to them) for a special service.

In the United States, the origins of modern day Mother’s Day can be traced all the way back to the 19th century. Anna Reeves Jarvis, a mother in West Virginia, set out to organize clubs that helped educate local mothers on how to properly care for their children. These local clubs were designated as “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” and in addition to helping mothers by arming them with practical knowledge and camaraderie, they helped to unify people in the turbulent time period after the Civil War.

During the same time period, a suffragette named Julia Ward Howe asked mothers to join together for the purpose of fighting for world peace. She proposed a “Mother’s Peace Day” which would be celebrated each June.

Following her mother’s death, Anna Jarvis--daughter of Anna Reeves Jarvis--developed the concept of Mother’s Day. She proposed this designated day as a way of paying tribute to mothers and all they did for their children.

After campaigning for several years for Mother’s Day to be an official designated national holiday, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed off on it to be a national holiday. It was established that the holiday be celebrated the second Sunday of May each year.

Mother’s Day and Giving Gifts

Anna Jarvis worked with a Philadelphia-based department store owner John Wanamaker to organize the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in West Virginia in 1908. Simultaneously, thousands of people showed up for an event at one of his Philadelphia retail stores.

Jarvis worked with the floral industry in the early days to raise awareness of the holiday. Not long after this, department stores, and other companies and florists began to work on taking advantage of this new holiday. The concept took off and children and adults began bestowing their mothers with flowers, cards and gifts each year.

Today, this major holiday is a day for families to honor everything a mother does for her children every day and all the sacrifices she made.

Ever since it being introduced as an officially designated holiday back in 1912, families have bestowed their mothers with flowers, cards and gifts to show their appreciation. In addition to making sweet gestures such as the tradition of making Mom breakfast in bed each year and spending quality time together, sending flowers has become more popular than any other gift as a gesture to show love.

Americans spend an average of $176.63 each year on Mother’s Day gifts and two thirds of shoppers buy flowers for their moms, according to the National Retail Federation.

Because it is held on the second Sunday in May, during the height of Springtime, many attribute the popularity of giving fresh flowers to the seasonality of the holiday. Additionally, flowers in general are seen by many cultures of a sign of fertility and life.

Besides this theory, it certainly helps the popularity of flower gifts that as a mostly universal manner, mothers around the world love receiving fresh flowers and displaying them around their home of office.

A popular way to send flowers that has gained in popularity in recent years with the launch of BloomsyBox flower subscriptions. As subscription boxes of all kinds exploded in popularity as gift ideas weekly or monthly subscriptions running the gamut from wine to makeup and including everything else in between giving a regular flower subscription as a gift made perfect sense. Coming home to something special in the mail delivered on their doorstep each week or month is a constant reminder to the recipient of how much they mean to the gift giver.

Combining the concept of a regular subscription box with flowers, we’re unique in that we send weekly, bi-weekly and monthly subscription boxes from only sustainable, fair trade flower farms around the world. By sourcing only the best and freshest flowers straight from these farms, we’re cutting out the middleman, thus delivering a fresher product, with all flowers being delivered no more than 4 days of being picked from the farm.

This Mother’s Day, send the gift they really want gift BloomsyBox!

Today, this major holiday is a day for families to honor everything a mother does for her children every day and all the sacrifices she made.