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Lincoln, Let's Celebrate Mom

by Gail Williams

 

Happy Mother's Day.

Mother's Day is this coming Sunday. In Lincoln, there are a few events this Mother's Day worth mentioning:

  • The Center for People in Need is hosting a special event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. which will allow low-income children ages 2 to 18 to choose gifts for their mothers. Volunteers will help wrap the gifts and make Mother's Day cards.

  • The Lincoln Children's Zoo is giving mothers free admission or one free train ticket on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to commemorate their special day.

  • The Pioneers Park Nature Center will host a Mother's Day breakfast and bird walk from 8-10 a.m. Sunday. Afterward, there will be a breakfast of rolls, fruit and beverages. Call 402-471-7895 for more information.

 

How Exactly Did Mother's Day Begin?

Mother's Day is this Sunday. This popular holiday is celebrated throughout the world, at different times of the year, and in different ways.

The holiday has its early roots in ancient Greece and Rome, where citizens honored the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

Great Britain and other parts of Europe recognized “Mothering Sunday,” where people would return to their 'mother church' during Lent for a special service. Over time, this celebration became more secular, with children presenting their mothers with flowers and various gifts. This tradition faded in popularity, until the advent of the American version of Mother's Day.

The holiday we celebrate today originated with Anna Jarvis, who evolved her mother Ann Reeves Jarvis' 'Mother's Day Work Clubs,' an organization with the goal of teaching mothers to properly care for their children, and 'Mother's Friendship Day,' which organized mothers to promote reconciliation between the North and South during Civil War times.

Anna Jarvis achieved financial backing from department store owner John Wanamaker in 1908 to organize and promote the first Mother's Day celebration at a West Virginia church. On the same day, thousands gathered at Wanamaker’s store in Philadelphia to celebrate this new holiday.

After a tireless letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians to argue for a special day to honor motherhood, by 1912, many states had adopted Mother's Day as an annual holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a decree officially declaring Mother's Day the second Sunday in May.

Ironically, as the Mother's Day holiday became more popular, and ultimately more commercialized, Jarvis denounced the holiday and campaigned to have it stricken from the calendar.

As Jarvis' last efforts were not successful, Mother's Day is immensely popular, and is recognized in both secular and religious ways. In the United States, giving mom flowers and gifts, and treating her to a meal are common. In churches, mothers are sometimes recognized with a single flower, and some use it as a time to dedicate children.

Photo Credit: Anne Roberts