While mothers have been celebrated for centuries around the globe the roots of Mother’s Day date back to the U.S. Civil War when Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. However, it wasn’t until her daughter, Anna Jarvis conceived an official Mother’s Day in 1908 as a way of honor her mother and the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Following a massage letter writing campaign and support from retailers, churches and community members in other states, her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated throughout the world, traditions vary depending on the country. In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit. Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood. However, China, Mexico, France, India and the UK, all honor motherhood in the month of May showering mother’s with flowers, cards, gifts, special meals and admirations.