Latest Posts


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day as seen through Postage Stamps

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honour of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods.  The stamp is very small, only 15 x 20 mm, and is shown here largely oversized.  In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass.,  every year. 
  • Crete 1905.  Rhea is depicted on this Cretan stamp (Scott # 74 -- Michel # 19).  The motif is taken from a ring used as a seal, and found in Knossos, the Mycenaean center at Crete.
It was, however, Mrs. Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis' work with women's organizations that inspired the creation of Mother's Day as a national holiday.  She was born in Culpeper, Virginia, on September 30, 1832, the daughter of the Rev. Josiah W. and Nancy Kemper Reeves.  The family moved to Barbour County in present-day West Virginia when the Rev. Reeves was transferred to a Methodist church in Philippi. In 1852, Anna married Granville E. Jarvis, the son of a Philippi Baptist minister. Two years later, Granville and Anna Jarvis moved to nearby Webster in Taylor County. 
In 1934 appeared this postage stamp, adapted from the portrait by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) of his mother.   The painting was made during the period 1867-72, and measures 144 x 162 cm.  It belongs to Mus�e d'Orsay, Paris, France.  
  • USA 1934.  First Day Cover, cancelled on May 2m 1934 in Washington D.C., honouring "Mothers of America".  Scott # 737.  The cachet shows the artist's mother, and beneath the cachet is printed a short review of the story of Mother's Day. 
  • Fujeira 1967. "The Artist's Mother" by J.A.M. Whistler. Note that the stamp is mirrored as opposed to the original painting on the US-stamp. The same painting was issued on a stamp by Jordan in 1974 (Scott # 779, Michel # 917). 
  • USA 1934. "The Artist's Mother". on the original US-stamp. The stamp is shown largely oversized. 
In 1907 Anna Maria's daughter, Anna Jarvis, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day.  Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia, to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.  
Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessmen, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. 
It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state.
In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson (president 1913-1921) made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May. 
  • USA 1938.  President Woodrow Wilson.  Scott # 832.
  • USA 1926.  President Woodrow Wilson.  Scott # 623.
Both scans by courtesy of Mr. Bob Ingraham (Canada).
  • USA 1987.  The United States issued a booklet of eight stamps for Special Occasions, one of which was a greeting stamp for Mother's Day.  
While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.   
A large number of stamps, dedicated to Mother's Day as such, have been issued world wide, among others these quite nice Cuban floral arrangements.  
  • Cuba 1987:  Flower Baskets particularly for Mother's Day.    
    Source :

    Mother’s Day 2014: History and Origin; How Did the Tradition of Honoring Mothers Evolve?

    Mother's Day 2014: What is the history behind this day? Here is an account of its origin and how the tradition evolved. (Wikimedia Commons)
    Mother's Day 2014: What is the history behind this day? Here is an account of its origin and how the tradition evolved. (Wikimedia Commons)
    With the Mother's day only days away, it's only natural to wonder how this great tradition of honoring mother ever evolved in this world.
    The origin of the famous holiday goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans, although roots of Mother's Day can also be traced in the UK, where a celebration called 'Mothering Sunday' was held much before the day in honor of mothers were celebrated elsewhere in the world including the US.
    However, the celebration of the Mother's day as we see it today is a recent phenomenon, thanks to two great woman named Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jervis, who made this day come into existence.
    Ancient History:
    The earliest history of the Mother's day celebration can be traced to the Greek's celebration of a day in honor of the maternal goddesses. Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology was honored.
    A celebration of ancient Romans that dates back to some 250 years before Christ was born, is also thought to be a possible origin of the present day Mother's day. They celebrated a spring festival called 'Hilaria' that was dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. However, the celebrations that usually lasted for three days with parades, games and masquerades; were thought to be notorious and the followers of Cybele were ultimately banished from Rome.
    The fourth Sunday of lent was also celebrated by early Christians in honor of the Virgin Mary, Christ's mother. But in the UK, the celebration was expanded to include all mothers and was called Mothering Sunday.
    Mothering Sunday:
    More recent history of the Mother's Day dates back to the 1600s in England when Mothering Sunday was celebrated on the fourth day of lent which included service in church to honor Virgin Mary. Children bought sweets and flowers in order to express love towards their own mothers.
    Even those who worked away from their families were encouraged to visit their mothers and honor them. By the 19th century, the custom of celebrating Mothering Sunday almost completely died out although there are certain accounts of some celebrations after World War II.
    Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe, who as an activist, writer and poet was the first to suggest the idea of an official celebration of the Mother's Day. In her famous Mothers Day Proclamation, written in Boston in 1870 she wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war. Suggesting a day of honour for Mothers on June, she also initiated a Mothers' Peace Day observance on the second Sunday in June. Her idea, backed by her relentless campaigns and calls for the official day later spread and replaced Mothers' Peace Day.
    Anna Jarvis
    Anna Jarvis, who is often referred to as the 'Mother of Mothers Day' is considered to be the founder of the celebration in the US. The activist was inspired by her own mother Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, who wanted to see the existence of Mother's Day.
    The desire to fulfill her mother's wishes, backed by the growing negligent attitude of Americans towards their mothers inspired Jarvis to work hard in instituting the official day for mothers, the Mothers Day Celebration website notes.
    After much lobbying, campaigns and awareness programs, her hard work paid off. By 1911, almost all the states in the United States celebrated Mother's day. On 8 May 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
    Present Day:
    People all around the world take the day as an opportunity to pay tribute to their mothers and thank them for all their love and support. Mother's Day is celebrated today in several countries including the US, UK, India, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, and Canada among many others. 
    (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)



No comments:

Post a Comment