Around F.C.

Mother’s Day: Not Just Another ‘Hallmark Holiday’

On Sunday, May 14, we all celebrate the love, sacrifice, and dedications of Mothers.  Though the modern second Sunday holiday was created in the early 1900s, some form of Mother’s Day has been around since ancient times, usually celebrated in the Spring (appropriately a time of “rebirth”).  

Early celebrations of Mother’s Day, or of motherhood in general, date back to ancient Greece, with annual “Great Mother of the Gods” festivals celebrating Rhea, celebrated in late March.  

Romans also celebrated Cybele, a fertility goddess sometimes used interchangeably with Rhea, on the Vernal (Spring) Equinox in late March.  Romans also celebrated Cybele during the Megalesia festival in early April.

A slightly younger Brian Reach (left), News-Press reporter and writer, with mother Debbi Reach on Holden Beach in North Carolina in the mid 1980s. (Photo: Michael Reach)

Christianity later introduced Mothering Sunday, set on the fourth Sunday of Lent, when people would return home to their “mother church.”  This faded into a tradition of children presenting mothers with flowers and gifts, which was eventually formalized in the U.S. in the 1900s.

In 1908, American Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day in Grafton, WV to honor her late mother.  Jarvis handed out white carnations to all the mothers in attendance.  

Just six years later, the idea had gained enough steam for President Woodrow Wilson to officially declare the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.  

The tradition has remained largely the same since, with a tradition of giving cards, flowers, gifts and, perhaps most importantly, phone calls and visits to one’s mother.

On this Mother’s Day, I would like to take a moment to recognize the amazing mothers in my life.  First and foremost, to my own mother, thank you for your unwavering love and support, for making me My Little Pony cakes and letting me wear pink way before it was cool, and all the effort you’ve put into giving my sister and me the best lives possible.  

To my Mee Maw, I’m so proud to be your (first) grandkid! I love you ‘like a rock,’ and I can’t wait to see you soon!  Keep tap dancin’ until then!

Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to my late grandmother on my father’s side, who successfully raised him and nine other children in New Jersey with very little money, but with an abundance of heart.

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the love and sacrifice of mothers all around the world. From ancient goddesses to modern-day celebrations, the idea of honoring mothers has been a part of our culture for thousands of years.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!