The Mother of all days - a brief history

Hurray for mums! Where would we be without them? Nowhere, that’s where. Mother’s Day is a recent enough holiday, first celebrated in the USA in the early 20th Century, invented by Anna Jarvis (pictured below) whose mum was a peace activist who had looked after wounded soldiers on both sides of the civil war.

Most languages in the world denote mother with a similar word beginning with ‘m’. Rather than some ancient connection between all languages, most think this is simply because babies produce a ‘mama’ kind of sound easily and early. 

And did you know that in many post-communist or socialist countries, such as Russia and Vietnam, International Women’s Day on March 8th (originally a socialist event) is more widely celebrated than Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday?

As well as the person who has done more for you than anyone else, Mother is the name of a popular Dublin gay club, a famous song by heavy metal outfit Danzig and a revolutionary novel by Russian social realist Maxim Gorky.

So, before March 6th grab a gift, card or something special for the mother or mother-figure in your life, to make sure they know how much you love and appreciate them.  G’wan g’wan, ya will, ya will.

Mother's Day cards and gift ideas

Check out the Memory Palace's podcast on the origins of Mother's Day here.

“It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.”

Don Norman