Mother's Day is celebrated in honor of mothers and their roles in the family and the society. In the United States, Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia at a Methodist Church. Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who attended to the wounded on both sides of the American Civil War. Ann believed that mothers are special people who have done more for us that anyone in the world.

The founding of Mother's Day

After the death of her mother due to heart ailments, Anna held a memorial ceremony in honor of her mother's death.

She advocated the day to be named "Mother's Day." In 1908, the idea of Mother's Day was rejected by the U.S Congress while one of the congressmen joked that they would also have to encompass "Mother-in-law Day." However, by 1911, all U.S. states recognized Mother's Day as a local holiday.

Ann believed that people should celebrate Mother's Day by writing letters by hand to their mothers as a show of gratitude and love. She said that people should desist from buying gifts and pre-made cards for their mothers. Mother's Day is celebrated in 46 countries around the world. Most people give their mothers flowers and cards on this day. In the United States, flowers and greeting cards are the most popular gift.

It is also the biggest holiday for long distance calls. Church attendance on this day is also high.

A brief history of the Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis was born on May 1st, 1864 in Taylor County, West Virginia. She was the ninth of the eleven children of Granville and Ann Marie. She was raised in a church setting and was an active church member together with her mom especially after graduating from Mary Baldwin University.

She later worked in Chattanooga, Tennessee as a bank teller for one year and then moved to Philadelphia to live with her brother and worked at Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Her mother later joined her because of her declining health and heart problem, but later died on May 9th, 1905. Anna would then hold a memorial ceremony in honor of the death of her mother and all the mothers in a Methodist church which was designated as a National Historic Landmark on October 5th, 1992.

Anna was always against the commercialization of Mother's Day after companies such as Hallmark cards started selling Mother's Day cards. She once threatened to sue the companies. She also protested the sale of flowers such as carnations for profit and was at one time arrested during her protests.

Other days that are set aside to celebrate other family members include Father's Day on the third Sunday in June, Siblings day on April the 10th and National Grandparent's day in September the first Sunday after Labor day.