The Origins of Mother’s Day

Have you ever wondered what the origins of Mother’s Day are and when it is celebrate around the world?

In the UK, the celebration has roots in the Christian observance of Mothering Sunday.  It takes place on the 4th Sunday in Lent, exactly 3 weeks before Easter Sunday.  Mothering Sunday originated in the Middle Ages when children, who had left home to work in domestic service, were allowed to return home.  It became a Spring occasion for families to reunite.  Eventually the custom of picking flowers on the way home to give as a gift to their mothers was adopted.

Mother’s Day began in America in 1907.  Anna Jarvis, who was treating wounded soldiers in the American Civil War, campaigned for a day to honour the role mothers played.  It grew in popularity and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared it to be a national holiday.

Eventually this tradition reached the UK and Mothering Sunday became better known as Mother’s Day.

Some countries gave it a religious meaning, which has been lost over the years, whilst in other countries it is based on seasons or times of the year.

Mother’s Day is celebrated on a different day each year and at various times around the world.

Nigeria, the UK and Ireland all celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  Most other countries, including the USA, celebrate it on the second Sunday in May.  Other countries, including Russia, Vietnam and Afghanistan, celebrate it on International Women’s Day.  In France it is celebrated on the last Sunday in May, unless this coincides with Pentecost day then it is moved to the first Sunday in June.