Mother’s Day is a major event, particularly for the floral industry; after all, what better symbol than flowers to show love, gratitude, and appreciation for mothers? Learn more about the incredible history of Mother’s Day.

Source: Rio Roses



Mother’s Day is a heartfelt celebration to honor the vital role mothers play in our lives. This holiday is a major event, particularly for the floral industry; after all, what better symbol than flowers to show love, gratitude, and appreciation for mothers? Yet, you may not know the incredible history of Mother’s Day.

The Roots of Mother’s Day
The tradition of honoring mothers dates back to ancient times. In Greece and Rome, festivals were held to honor mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. However, these celebrations are not directly connected to modern Mother’s Day.

For that connection, we have to look at the Christian festival, “Mothering Sunday,” which began in the 16th century. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, the faithful would return to their “mother church” (the main church near their home) for a special service. Over time, it became more specifically a day to honor mothers. In the UK and Ireland, people still celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Mother’s Day in the United States
The origins of Mother’s Day can be traced back to the 19th century and to Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia. She established the “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to educate women on childcare. She also promoted unity after the Civil War through events called “Mothers’ Friendship Day.”

Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist, furthered the cause by writing the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870. In it, she urged mothers to promote peace and later proposed the idea of “Mother’s Peace Day.”

Mother’s Day became an official holiday in the 1900s, thanks to Anna Jarvis, Ann’s daughter. She organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 in West Virginia and worked throughout the years to promote it. Her work paid off: In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

As Mother’s Day became more commercialized, Anna Jarvis grew more and more unhappy. She wanted the holiday to be a day for personal reflection and intimate family gatherings, but the focus had shifted to commercialism. In her later years, Anna actively opposed the commercialization of Mother’s Day. This battle took a toll on her, both financially and emotionally.

The Significance of Flowers
Despite Anna’s efforts, Mother’s Day flourished, with flowers at its heart. Anna Jarvis initially chose the white carnation as the official Mother’s Day flower because it was her mother’s favorite, representing purity, faithfulness, love, and charity. However, the tradition evolved, and people started gifting a variety of flowers, each carrying a message of love and appreciation.

The floral industry bloomed with innovative celebrations centered on Mother’s Day. Themed arrangements told stories of individual mothers’ interests and passions, while DIY flower kits and floral workshops invited families to create new traditions. The day also became an opportunity for community engagement, with local businesses and floral professionals collaborating to celebrate motherhood in all its forms.

Mother’s Day Today
Today, Mother’s Day is a celebration of the enduring power of maternal love. It transcends commercialization to focus on the heart of the celebration: the acknowledgment of mothers’ roles in our lives.

Our industry is central to the celebration, finding new ways to honor mothers while balancing tradition and commercial appeal. One way to do this is to center on experiences rather than commercialization. We can do this through floral-centered events and activities that bring families together, including:

• Hosting floral workshops on arranging flowers or crafting floral accessories, making for a unique Mother’s Day activity.
• Collaborating with local businesses to organize Mother’s Day markets or flower festivals, encouraging community participation.
• Offering DIY kits for families to create their own floral arrangements, adding a personal touch to the gift.

In the end, Mother’s Day remains a day of love, where we take a break from the daily routine and honor those who’ve given us so much. Each flower given on this day carries a story, a memory, and a thank you. By embracing innovation and honoring tradition, you can make Mother’s Day an even more memorable event for every customer.