It is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a commemoration of Mother Church, not motherhood).
The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
Every year thereafter, Mrs Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the local Mayor. Mother's Day in Belarus was officially established by the Belarus government, and it was celebrated for the first time in 1996.
In Belgium, Mother's Day (Moederdag or Moederkesdag in Dutch and Fête des Mères in French) is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
Jarvis protested at a candy makers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923, and at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925.
By this time, carnations had become associated with Mother's Day, and the selling of carnations by the American War Mothers to raise money angered Jarvis, who was arrested for disturbing the peace.
In some cases, countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations then adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, such as giving carnations and other presents to one's mother. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one's mother not to mark Mother's Day.
In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture.
As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother's Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved.
For example, Bolivia's Mother's Day is the date of a battle in which women participated.
As adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meanings, is associated with different events (religious, historical or legendary), and is celebrated on different dates.
The holiday was originally celebrated on 11 October, the old liturgical date for the celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary but after the Second Vatican Council, which moved the Virgin Mary festivity to 1 January, the Mother's Day started to be celebrated the third Sunday of October because of popular tradition.
In Armenia, Mother's Day is celebrated on 8 March, and on 7 April as Maternity and Beauty Day.
She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers.