Mount Pleasant Magazine May/June 2022

38 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www.MountPl easantPodcas t . com It’s the second Sunday of May. From New York to Los Angeles, from the beaches to the hills, from the smallest towns to the biggest metropolises, everyone in the nation is abuzz doing the same thing. They are emptying flower shops, lighting up cell phone towers and brunching over laughs about yesteryear. After all, celebrating Mother’s Day is as American as apple pie. Or is it? A day known as Mothering Sunday surprisingly dates back to the old world and began hundreds of years ago in medieval England. It was a homecoming of sorts, when extended families attended church services with their mothers on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. Many Brits still celebrate that day, but it has largely been replaced with the worldwide observation of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. The American version of Mother’s Day began in the early 20th Century. In 1907, a woman in Grafton, West Virginia, planned an event to publicly recognize the efforts of her own mother, who strove to promote the health and well-being of women in her community. The tradition of paying tribute to all mothers soon spread throughout the country. A national holiday was officially established in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson, who proclaimed it to be a day to honor that “tender, gentle army—the mothers of America.” And so began the custom of wearing a carnation to honor mothers — a pink or red flower signified a mother who was alive, while a white carnation would remember a mother who was deceased. Though the ways we honor mothers has changed over time, the concept is nothing new. Ancient civilizations held Honoring Thy Mother and Father The History of Celebrating Parents BY MARY COY