They give birth to us, feed us, raise us and nurture us. Mums are pretty awesome when you think about it.
And that’s why they have their own special celebration – Mother’s Day.
A day dedicated to showing our dear mums just what they mean to us, it is a holiday celebrated throughout the world – but just where does it originate from?
And how do celebrations differ?
We’ve put together a definitive guide to help you find out. Isn’t that nice?
The origins of Mother’s Day
Contrary to popular belief, Mother’s Day was not just dreamt up by Hallmark as another way to make money. The tradition actually dates back to Ancient Greece (way before Hallmark) and was originally a celebration that honoured the Mother of the Gods: Rhea.
In their celebration, Ancient Greeks would drink the best wine and eat the best food in celebration of their beloved Rhea who gave birth to their whole creation.
The Romans had their own equivalent to Rhea known as Magna Mater – ‘Great Mother’. They also celebrated this figure (at the end of every March) in a festival called Hilaria. They even built a temple solely for their ‘Great Mother’ in Rome.
From these early traditions, the modern holiday of Mothering Sunday was born. This modern take on the celebration began as a way for servants to spend the day with their mothers and families during the 1600s … but it doesn’t end there.
A woman named Anna Jarvis was responsible for making the celebration a public holiday in the 1900s. Her mother, Ann Jarvis, had worked hard throughout her life to ensure mothers were appreciated for their hardwork and loyalty but unfortunately died before her dream came true.
Her daughter Anna picked up the mantle and after many years she held her first Mother’s Day gathering at a local Methodist church in West Virginia, USA. Determined to get her holiday onto the national calendar, she regularly campaigned to local and national newspapers and politicians. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the day as a national holiday that would be celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
As the popularity of the American tradition grew, it began to be adopted in other countries – although the date of celebration differs. In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent as this is traditionally when Christians would visit their mother at church. Historians believe that on their way to see their mother, children would stop at the roadside and pick flowers as a gift while traditional foods associated with Lent, such as Simnel cake, were eaten. Continue…