Curiosities: Why do people give carnation away on Mother’s Day?

By Eddy Montilla.

CARNATION

Carnations have become a traditional present on Mother`s Day. They have dominated the list of flowers bought for gifting on that day. They even have particular meanings according to their colors. For example, white carnations are used to honor a deceased mother while pink carnations to honor a living mother. But why do people choose these flowers among many others?

    Anna Marie Jarvis is credited with the idea of sending carnations as a tribute to her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, whose work with women’s organizations inspired the creation of Mother’s Day as a national holiday. Ann Jarvis died in 1905 and three years later, in 1908, her daughter Anna held a memorial service at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, West Virginia, to pay homage to her mother and other mothers too. She sent five hundred white carnations, her mother’s favorite flower, for all those present. From then onward, it has become a tradition to give away carnations on Mother’s Day.

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