It’s May, and do you know what that means? Mother’s Day is here! Mother’s Day comes once a year, but here at FranceABC we like to celebrate all mothers of all kinds, all 12 months. Of course, though we in North America celebrate mothers on the second Sunday of May each year, other countries have their own traditions. Just as families are all unique, so too is every country’s celebration of all maternal figures. We’re going to take a look at the origin of Mother’s Day in Canada and in France.
The History of Mother’s Day
When did Mother’s Day come about? While some people may believe this to be a fairly recent phenomenon, invented by Hallmark and other card and gift sellers, this day actually has a much more noble history. And, like most holidays, it depends on the country.
Canada and the United States
Canada and the US share their history of Mother’s Day. In fact, Mother’s Day as we know it (or at least the origins of how we know it) was founded by a teacher, Anna Maria Jarvis. She started the day in commemoration of her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, a community worker and peace activist following the Civil War.
Ann R. Jarvis had founded ‘Mother’s Day Work Clubs’, which helped teach mothers the foundations of childcare. These Work Clubs sought to provide care and assistance to mothers who suffered tuberculosis and other severe illnesses. They also taught women about hygiene, sanitation, and the basics of health regimens for their children in order to reduce infant and maternal mortality. Following the Civil War, Mrs Jarvis founded ‘Mother’s Friendship Day’ in order to re-strengthen the still tenuous bonds between the southern and northern states.