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The First Mother's Day ever Celebrated

The so-called civilized world in Europe was the original cradle where Mother's Day was born. Of course, at that time, Greece was pretty much the center of civilization as we knew it, and the way they traveled around, the festival got spread to many corners of the continent. But only one mother was celebrated and that was Rhea, mother of the Gods who was feted every year with lavish gifts and sacrifices. Rome was also into mother appreciation, holding three days of celebrations as early as 250B.C. for Cybele, the mother goddess, in a festival known as Hilaria, which lasted March 15-18 and was also called the Ides of March.

By the 1600s, the people of England were honoring their own parent on �mothering Sunday�, the fourth Sunday of Lent. It was an occasion for servants to have the day off, since most would have to travel great distances to be with their own mother, and partake in the special �mothering cake�. In Scotland, the preferred dish for celebrating was �carlings�, a pancake type item made from steamed peese, liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper and then fried in butter. Thus, the first Mother's Day �breakfasts� were served long before the invention of Corn Flakes and sliced bread for toast. Eventually, as Christianity spread throughout the European continent, this same Sunday came to be an occasion for honoring the �Mother Church�.

The first move to make Mother’s Day a regular occasion, was taken by Julia Howe, the author of the lyrics for �Battle Hymn of the Republic�. In 1872, she began organizing mother's meetings� every year in her home city of Boston, to promote peace in the wake of the dreadful Civil War that had devastated so many mothers.

Mother’s Day as we know it however, is largely attributed to Ann Jarvis, who in 1907, arranged in her church, a celebration of her mother's life on the second anniversary of her death. The church was decorated with white carnations, which had been her mother's favorites. Over the next several years the celebration was repeated and grew in popularity, until President Woodrow Wilson signed an official declaration in 1914, making the second Sunday in May, Mother's Day. Ever since, carnations have been associated with mothers and Mother's Day, being a frequent choice for bouquets and arrangements. The highly scented flowers grow in two varieties, but are mostly know for their multiple layers of petals in a tight blossom that averages 3�, and grow on a tall, wiry stem. White continues to be a sign of remembrance, while red carnations came to be the symbol of a mother's heart, or love.

Source: Johann Erickson, Online Discount Mart

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