Call Your Mother and Ask Her These Trivia Questions

May 14th is Mother's Day, and while you should probably celebrate by telling mom you love her, that doesn't mean you can't also stretch your brain with some trivia.  How much do you know about Mother's Day? Take this trivia quiz and find out! 


Who is Recognized as the Founder of Mother's Day? # Mother's Day is the biggest sales day for U.S. florists. Photo credit: sophie/Flickr. What the United States considers to be Mother's Day was officially declared in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. The woman who had championed the day, Anna Jarvis, has for years campaigned for a day for mothers on the grounds that existing holidays tended to favor men. She was also dedicated to creating an official day to honor the work mothers put in to raising their children, and she envisioned the day as one when everyone would return home and thank their mothers for raising them. 

Prior to the 1914 declaration, Jarvis had managed to have a couple of unofficial events, helped by sponsorship from a department store. There had also been earlier attempts by additional women to celebrate mothers or to at least use the day for mother- and women-related activities, such as teaching women childcare procedures.

Was She Happy With How It Turned Out? # Oh, goodness no. In fact, Jarvis was appalled and enraged by the fast commercialization of the holiday. No doubt she was pleased with the initial declaration, but soon she went from spending all her time and money on getting the holiday declared to spending all her time and money on getting the holiday undeclared. She beseeched people to not buy flowers or cards, and she was even offended by charity drives that took place on the day. You can guess how her efforts turned out. Sadly, Jarvis died nearly penniless and unsuccessful in her attempts to get rid of Mother's Day.


What Strange Mother's Day Tradition Did Yugoslavia Once Observe? # Despite Anna Jarvis's best wishes, Mother's Day has spread worldwide. Some places however, offer their own unique spin on the holiday. Perhaps the most bizarre tradition is in Yugoslavia. Two weeks before Christmas, children sneak up on their sleeping mother and stealthily tie her to her bed. When she wakes up and finds herself bound to the mattress, her lovely brood chants, "Mother's Day! Mother's Day! What will you pay to get away?" The mother than "pays" the children off with candy or toys, who untie her once satisfied with their bounty. 

So yes, in Yugoslavia, Mother's Day is more like "Kids Are Evil Day." And don't we already celebrate that 365 days a year?

What is the official Mother’s Day flower? # The carnation is the official Mother’s Day flower. Ann Jarvis, the founder of the holiday, chose the carnation as the official Mother’s Day flower in 1907 sending 500 white carnations to a West Virginia church for mothers to wear. Carnation flowers were her mother’s favorite and she thought the white carnation signified the virtues of motherhood. After that first service, Ms. Jarvis continued to send white carnations to the same church each Mother’s Day. As the tradition of gifting carnations on Mother's Day grew, carnation colors took on new symbolism. White carnations are meant to honor the memory of deceased mothers while red and pink carnations honor those who are living.

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