Mother's Day and Father's Day

Mother's Day and Father's Day

Holidays. In the U.S. a nationwide observance of Mother's Day was suggested by Anna Jarvis of Grafton, W.Va., and in 1908 formal observances were held in churches in Grafton and Philadelphia. By 1911 every state celebrated the occasion on the second Sunday in May. It was formalized by Congress in 1914. In Britain, Mother's Day is celebrated in mid-Lent as Mothering Sunday. During the Middle Ages a custom developed of allowing those who had moved away to visit their home parishes and their mothers on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. Many other countries also celebrate the holiday on this date, while some mark the observance at other times of the year. Father's Day was first celebrated in 1910 in Spokane, Wash., through efforts of Sonora Dodd and the YMCA. Celebrated on the third Sunday in June, it became a legal holiday in 1972. Both days were originally largely religious holidays but have been commercialized with the sending of greeting cards and the giving of gifts.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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