10 Mothers Day Facts You have Probably Never Of

momsday_header 1. Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

2. In the years before the Civil War (1861-65), Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

3. Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis' daughter Anna—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—argued that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

4. Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. Once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

5. In Thailand, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit. Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood. In Bolivia, the date chosen for Mother's Day was based on the day that women participated in a battle. Other countries have also chosen the date for Mother's Day to coincide with holidays that also celebrate women.

6. Beaver mothers have anywhere from 1 to 8 “kits” (baby beavers) in a litter. They are mostly monogamous and female beavers are larger than male beavers of the same age.

7. 133 million Mother’s Day cards are sent out every year. Its the third most popular postal holiday with Christmas, and Valentines day being the most popular. Hallmark Cards sent out its first Mother’s Day card in 1920. The most common flower for Mother's Day is the carnation; pink and red for mothers who are alive and white for those who have passed away.

8. Internationally National Women’s Day is more popular and widely celebrated than Mother’s Day and is celebrated on March 8th every year

9. August is the most popular month to have a baby. More than 360,000 births took place in August of 2001. Tuesday is the most popular day of the week in to have a baby. An average of more than 12,000 births taking place on Tuesdays.

10. Mother giraffes often give birth while standing, so that the newborn’s first experience outside the womb is a 6ft drop. Kittens are born both blind and deaf, but the vibration of their mother's purring is a physical signal that the kittens can feel - it acts like a homing device,.