It is estimated that more than 46 countries all over the world will celebrate Mother's Day on May 14, 2017. It is not always celebrated on May 14, but it is always celebrated on the Second Sunday in May no matter what date it falls on. Three words people will hear all day long is "Happy Mother's Day." In churches, preachers will preach sermons to encourage mothers and to lift them up.

The celebration comes in the midst of graduations, proms, and weddings. No matter what other event is going on at the time, people tend to put them aside to celebrate Mother's Day with their mothers, grandmothers and other women who have been a significant influence on them.

Origin of the day

Anna Jarvis organized the first observance in 1908 to honor her mother. She chose the second Sunday in May because it was the Sunday closest to her mother’s death. Her mother, Ann Reeves, died in 1905. Because the white carnation was Reeves’ favorite flower, it has become popular to give on that special day. Many people don't know that tidbit, so they give their mothers red roses instead.

It is interesting that the woman who fought to have a day set aside for mothers had no children of her own. Jarvis' main goal for wanting a day set aside was to have children spend time with their mothers and remember the sacrifices they had made. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued an official proclamation that the second Sunday in May will be Mother's Day.


Mother's Day is celebrated in different ways around the world. Mothers are given flowers and gifts. They are taken out to dinner by their children. More elaborate gifts might include going on a cruise. If people follow the tradition that Ann Jarvis wanted, children would spend precious time with their mothers without giving gifts.

Something most people might not know is that Jarvis spent most of her life fighting to have a day to honor mothers, but then she spent the other half of her life trying to undo it. That's because the day was not used for the purpose Jarvis wanted. Like most holidays, the day had become too commercialized.

Fate of the founder

Jarvis fought against the greeting card companies, the candy shops, and florists for capitalizing off of her idea.

She was so consumed with undoing Mother's Day celebrations in that manner that she once ended up in jail for disturbing the peace. Her fight to undo Mother's Day consumed her. Sadly, she spent the last four years of her life in a sanitarium, blind and penniless. She died in 1948 without any children by her side.