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Mother’s Day 2024

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Angel Mother” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President
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Tatiana Skyrikova
Mother and Child under a Beautiful Sunset

Mother’s Day is an iconic holiday. It is celebrated in the United States on May 12th (Every 2nd Sunday in May), but dates vary across the world. Not only is it celebrated in nearly every single country, but people everywhere are willing to spend money to show their love, too.

According to the National Retail Federation, a nonprofit organization devoted to the satisfaction of customers and world’s largest trade association, 84% of people will be celebrating Mother’s Day this year. A total of $33.5 billion dollars will be spent in honor of the holiday as well, with the average amount of money being $254 dollars per person.

With that in mind, it is no surprise to hear of the diverse celebrations that people partake in throughout the world, our globalization of holidays makes us both alike yet unique to one another. Each culture brings something interesting in terms of celebrating this holiday, but a collective agreement of celebrating not only moms, but the people who show motherly attributes to others around them; the people that work hard, endured so much and deserve a day of being honored and given their proper recognition.

In the United States, our Mother’s Day History is more complex than meets the eye. In 1858, a woman named Ann Reeves Jarvis organized the “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs’, which worked to decrease the Infant Morality Rates (IMR) in her community with a push for sanitary improvements. This was because she was a mother herself, having 13 children, but unfortunately only seeing four of her children reach adulthood. Ann Jarvis also coordinated the “Mothers’ Friendship Day” in 1868 in Western Virginia, which tried to reunite families separated by the Civil War and to promote peace between former Union and Confederate families.

After her death in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis hosted her funeral on the second Sunday of May. Following her mother’s footsteps, Anna Jarvis decided to also commemorate mothers in West Virginia. Her efforts paid off, as over the course of four years, the celebration spread nationally and became an national holiday, thanks to President Woodrow Wilson. She even chose the way the punctuation was done, settling on Mother’s Day because it included all mothers.

But Anna soon became frustrated and even resentful with the way the holiday was celebrated. Instead of celebrating mothers yearly and spending proper time with them, corporations were instead using it to profit off of the holiday and even make political statements or spread nationalism. Despite her efforts to rally against the way people celebrated, even saying that she had her regrets on making this holiday, her persistence was in vain, no matter how much money she spent against it.

Nowadays, we celebrate it the way Anna would be disdained to. People spend time and money with their mothers, while companies like KFC, Samsung and Sephora spend money on advertisements in hopes of getting money from gift-givers. Even if this isn’t what Anna wanted, her holiday is still celebrated on each Second Sunday of May, the anniversary of her mother’s funeral.

In Finland, Mothers are given awards for their efforts. A yearly tradition, the Finnish President has been awarding mothers the Medal First Class with Gold Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. 39 total mothers were awarded, ranging from 45 years old to 99 years old! The Finnish also celebrate by presenting their moms with handfuls of wood anemones, as the holiday and the flowers blooming coincide with one another.

In Peru, they celebrate enthusiastically! Beginning with a weeklong festival with the cities running school programs, events, and even stores offering deals and discounts. While Peru has similar celebrations to that of the United States, they are different by visiting graves of mothers.

While it may seem sad, it is for a good cause. Cleaning and decorating their gravesites, their reasoning is to honor the mother’s we’ve lost. Many families also eat by their gravesites as if to have a feast with their loved ones.

Happy Mother’s Day Bayhawks! Be sure to appreciate the people closest to you this year!

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Trinity Kerr
Trinity Kerr, Reporter
Trinity Kerr is a current Freshman at Bellingham High School, and one of the Reporters in the Newspaper Club. She was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, but she moved to Bellingham when she was a young baby and has lived there ever since. She loves reading, writing, and sleeping in for long periods of time. Trinity joined the Newspaper Club to further explore her love of writing, but also to get involved in her school and community as a Bayhawk at Bellingham High School.