With Mothering Sunday just a couple of weeks away, here at Women UK, we thought we’d take a look at how this holiday all started…
I bet not many people know that Mothering Sunday and Mother’s Day are in fact two very different events. The UK based tradition of Mothering Sunday is a religious holiday that is celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians across some parts of Europe. Mothering Sunday changes each year as the date is dictated by when Easter falls. Mothering Sunday is always on the fourth Sunday in Lent; exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. Historically, the it is thought that Mothering Sunday dates back to the sixteenth century, when on the fourth Sunday in Lent, people returned home to their ‘mother church’. In Catholic and Protestant churches across the UK, Republic Of Ireland and other parts of Europe, Mothering Sunday is recognised as a time for honouring mothers and giving them presents. Unfortunately though, due to commercialisation, the day is now more commonly know as Mother’s Day; which across other parts of the world is a completely different holiday to Mothering Sunday.
In America Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 when a lady called Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Anna began her campaign in 1905 to make Mother’s Day a recognised holiday – her mission was to honor her own mother and to set aside a day to honor mothers. Anna worked as a peace activist during the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Her campaign was rejected in 1908 by congress but by 1911, due to her continued campaigning, all US states began to recognise Mother’s Day as a local holiday. Now across a large part of the globe, the second Sunday in May is known as Mother’s Day.
So whether you are in the world today, Mother’s Day will depend on the day that your country of residence has adopted, however for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Nigeria and The Isle Of Mann, Mother’s Day will fall on 6th March. For the rest of the world, dates will differ, however for the majority, the second Sunday in May will be when they choose to celebrate.