India is celebrating Happy Mother’s Day today (Sunday, May 14).
There is an old Jewish proverb that says: “God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers”. And, we can’t agree more. Mothers are undoubtedly one of the best creations of God.
Here are 10 interesting facts about this day that you should know:
1. It was Anna Jarvis who is recorded as the founder of the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States.
On May 10, 1908, Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church at Grafton in West Virginia. There she not only honoured her mother but all mothers, marking the first official observance of Mother’s Day.
2. Anna Jarvis also initiated the tradition of wearing a carnation on Mother’s Day. A person whose mother is alive wears a colored carnation, while one whose mother is no more, wears a white carnation.
3. Don’t confuse Mother’s Day with Mothering Sunday celebration. They are not related.
Mothering Sunday is observed by Catholic and Protestant Christians who visit their “mother” church on a Sunday that falls exactly three weeks before Easter Day.
4. Earlier, people used to observe this Day by going to the church and writing letters to their respective mothers. However, gradually, letters were replaced by greeting cards, flowers and gifts.
5. Do you know that as per a survey in 2014, the average age of first-time mothers in the US is 26.3!
6. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), US customers are expected to spend $23.6 billion to celebrate Mother’s Day in 2017.
7. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in most countries, including the US and India. However, it is celebrated on May 10 in Mexico.
In fact, there are many countries who have different Mother’s Day dates based on their ancient or religious traditions. About 50 countries across the world celebrate Mother’s Day.
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8. It was on May 9, 1914 that US President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that recognized Mother’s Day as a national holiday.
9. Did you know that of the total number of flowers purchased on all holidays across the world, one-quarter is bought on Mother’s Day alone!
10. As per a survey, every year, in the US alone, approximately 122 million phone calls are made to mothers on Mother’s Day.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.