Why we give Mom flowers on Mother's Day

We give flowers on Mother’s Day for lots of reasons. Maybe because they look and smell good, or because she loves flowers, or because that’s just what you do. She probably loves chocolates and pedicures too, but the flowers win on Mother’s Day. And there’s a historical reason for giving flowers on Mother’s Day.

In the years before the Civil War in the United States, Anne Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. In 1868, she organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” where mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation. Anne died in 1905, and her daughter, Anna Jarvis, decided to honor her mother’s memory by organizing the first official Mother’s Day celebration in 1908. A Philadelphia department store financed this first celebration, and thousands of people attended a Mother’s Day event at the store. Anna also handed out 500 white carnations to all the mothers in attendance at her mother’s church, carnations being her mother’s favorite flower.

After the success of the first Mother’s Day, Anna, who herself remained unmarried and childless, worked to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Deciding that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter-writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians, urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912, many states, towns, and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially signed a measure establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Read more at thestarphoenix.com


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