Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis quickly came to resent its commercialization.

Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis quickly came to resent its commercialization.

By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis […] organized boycotts of Mother’s Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards. 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.

I made a “Big Daddy” Roth-style card for my dad for Father’s Day:

It's a "BIKE FIEND" with bulging bloodshot eyes, big sharp teeth, flapping tongue, and gangly, hairy limbs maniacally riding a hot-rodded bicycle. I drew a preliminary sketch that was less detailed but more lively.

(He took up cycling a while ago, and we grew up with hot rod magazines in the house, is why. It didn’t occur to me ’til after I gave it to him to cleverly use the phrase “Big Daddy” in the inner text, but oh well. :) )

The Spring Tradition of Flora Day

Woods people” by Frances Berriman (some rights reserved)

People dressed as shrubs danced yesterday in Helston, Cornwall, UK. Others dressed in old-time finery danced in a line so long you couldn’t see either end. They celebrated Flora Day, an old spring tradition also called the Furry Dance (named long before furries).

Helston, Flora day, 2011” by Bob Hall (some rights reserved)

While the shrub people dance, everyone sings:

Hal-an-tow, jolly rumbalow
For we were up as soon as any day-O
And for to fetch the summer home
The summer and the May-O
For summer is a-come-O
And winter is a-gone-O

Each verse brings a costumed pantomime. This Hal-An-Tow video starts with shouting and noise, then at 1:35 comes a Cornish proclamation that sounds like Swedish Chef, followed by the dancing shrubs, song, and weird pageantry.

Helston Flora 2006-28” by Ian Swithinbank (some rights reserved)

The great processional dance features kids (in one dance) and adults (in the other two) walking in pairs in a tremendous line and periodically doing a little dance that puts them with a new partner. The children’s dance alone has 1,000 people in it. See for example the 2014 midday dance, 2011 children’s dance, … and footage from 1955 … and 1921.

The banner at the start of this other Flora video shows that I didn’t make up the name of the Furry Dance (I kind of thought it was vandalism on Wikipedia’s Flora Day article until I saw the video).

I’d love to see it in person someday. I’d love have something like it here!