Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday, as it’s also known) is an annual event for people to show their gratitude and love for their mothers. This day also celebrates the role that other maternal figures, such as mother-in-laws and grandmothers, hold in family life.
When does Mother’s Day take place?
The actual date of Mother’s Day is not fixed each year, like Valentine’s Day. In fact, it always falls 3 weeks before Easter Sunday.
This year, the UK will celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday 11th March. Elsewhere in the world, it’s celebrated at different times in the year. For example, the United States always celebrates on the second Sunday in May.
What are the origins of the day?
The origins of the day differ depending on whether you’re talking about the UK or the US. In the UK, Mother’s Day was originally a day where domestic servants were given the day off to visit their “mother” church. These servants would typically return to their hometown and worship in church with their families. On the way home, it was common for people to pick wild flowers to give to their mothers.
In America, the day stemmed from a lady called Anna Jarvis, who held a memorial service for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She gave away carnations, her mother’s favourite flower, to all who attended the service. Red and pink carnations were given to those with living mothers and white for those whose mothers had passed away. Anna wanted everyone to attend church and afterwards, for children to write a note of appreciation to their mothers.
It had been Anna’s late mother’s wish that a Mother’s Day would take place, and this is something that she had even prayed for. Following her mother’s death in 1905, Anna took steps to ensure this would happen.
Creating a legacy for mothers everywhere
As part of her late mother’s wishes, Anna campaigned to make Mother’s Day a recognised holiday in the US in 1905. The very first Mother’s Day in America was celebrated in 1908 and, just three years later, all US states had started to observe the holiday.
Whilst Anna Jarvis was successful in realising her mother’s dream, she was resentful of how commercialised the day quickly became. By 1920, card companies such as Hallmark had started making mass-produced Mother’s Day cards. Anna argued that people should honour their mothers through handwritten letters, instead of buying pre-made cards.
Today, people choose to celebrate this day in a way which is personal for them. It may be that they buy their mother a bunch of flowers and a card, go for afternoon tea, or just choose to spend quality time together. It’s estimated that, as a nation, British consumers will spend £1.4 billion on Mother’s Day cards, flowers, gifts and other treats.
Looking for craft inspiration? Find out how to make delightful Mother’s Day flowers using egg boxes here.