It's no secret that Mother's Day is a pretty big deal here in the US. Once May comes around, all the shops are advertising for the holiday. Kids, be they young or adult, go back home or call their moms. They make a big day out of it, hosting backyard barbecues, taking them out to eat, or even hosting full-blown parties. It just goes to show that no matter how diverse the country gets, their love for their mothers remains the same all throughout. So it's also interesting to know more about this holiday and how it came to be in the US.
Mother's Day was Originally A Protest
There are actually many stories that tell the origins of Mother's Day in the US. The earliest of which happened right after the Civil War. Social activist Julia Ward Howe wrote the “Mother's Day Proclamation,” an appeal to the women of the world to unite for peace and end all conflict. Far from the fully, flower-enthused and highly commercialized holiday today, Howe's vision for Mother's Day was more of a call to action. As a result, the original iteration of the holiday had women going to the streets and protesting for all sorts of causes.
A School Teacher Started Mother's Day
The current version of Mother's Day in the US is all thanks to a school teacher named Anna Jarvis. After losing her own mother in the early 1900s, Jarvis founded the Mother's Day International Association. She proposed the idea of the holiday to Congress and even trademarked the 'Mother's Day' phrase. And of course, her proposal passed and Mother's Day eventually became one of the most celebrated holidays in the US
. She initially throughout of it as a day to celebrate working mothers in the country. Little did she know it'd become more than that over the years.
It Wasn't Supposed To Be Commercialized
Contrary to how Mother's Day is today, the holiday wasn't supposed to be that heavily commercialized. Mental Floss shared
that Anna Jarvis herself grew to despise the holiday. Around a decade after it became an official holiday, Jarvis couldn't escape the fact that so many businesses started to profit off of Mother's Day. She originally proposed it to be a day “to be a day of sentiment, not profit,' which is the exact opposite of what happened. It came to a point that Jarvis even fought to have Mother's Day abolished and even got arrested for protesting for this cause.
The Carnation Has Different Meanings
In relation to the origins of Mother's Day in the US, specifically around a time of various conflicts both in the country and around the world, the carnation became the flower symbol of the holiday. Even today, carnations remain the go-to bouquet for people to give their mothers every second Sunday of May. And their colors have meaning too. Originally, Anna Jarvis picked the white carnation as it symbolized pure love. Today, pink carnations are given to living mothers, no matter how old they are. White carnations, on the other hand, are worn by children whose mothers have passed on. They'd usually bring their bouquets to their graves on the holiday.
People Buy More Flowers on Mother’s Day
Speaking of flowers, did you know that Americans buy the most flowers on Mother's Day? Surprisingly, it has even surpassed Christmas and Hannukah, according to Town & Country
. Even more shocking is that it completely rumps flower sales during Valentine's Day too. Perhaps it helps that flowers hold special meanings for this holiday. As previously mentioned, Anna Jarvis initially chose the white carnation to be the symbol of Mother's Day. And over time, as the holiday became more commercialized, bouquets became the go-to choice for gifts. They're affordable enough and easy to get, after all.
The Most Popular Holiday for Eating Out
Similarly, if you thought that Christmas was when most Americans would eat out, think again! Restaurant Business shared that Mother's Day saw the biggest rise in consumer spending in restaurants back in 2020. It rose to 103% and that was around the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. What more when most of the country has opened up since then? This year, Mother's Day 2023 is bound to see this rise go even higher. Countless families will likely fill up the finest restaurants in New York
, LA, Miami, Chicago, and many other cities in the country.
The Most Popular Day for Phone Calls
If you're spending Mother's Day in the US, you better get a local SIM card
. Why? Because the custom here is to call your mom! If you're not in the same city as her, a phone call is more than enough. And the rest of the country will agree too! Back in 2010, Reuters found
that Mother's Day is the most popular day for phone calls. With so many apps available now, it's only natural that this is still true, and perhaps even more so now than it was back then.
Mother's Day is actually one of the biggest holidays in the US. In fact, the holiday itself has such a fascinating history behind it, not to mention unique customs that many in the country practice. Learn all about it as you celebrate with your mom!