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Mother’s Day – where does it come from?

Mother’s Day celebrations are thought to date back to ancient Romans and Greeks, who held festivals to honour the mother of goddesses Rhea and Cybele, however Mothering Sunday as we know it is actually an early Christian festival held on the forth Sunday of lent.

In modern times, many think of Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday as the same festival; however they are very different celebrations, with vastly differing origins.

Mothering Sunday is a traditional British and Irish festival that saw children return from work to worship in their ‘mother’ church (the largest church in the area). During this time, children as young as ten would undertake full time employment as apprentices, meaning many of them hadn’t seen their mother for months. On Mothering Sunday, they would be given the day off work and would bring their mother flowers to show their appreciation for her.

Mother’s Day on the other hand is an American festival, which dates back to 1908, and is much more modern in its approach – it is simply an opportunity to show your mum how much you love her by giving her flowers and a card.

Mother's Day

As church attendances dropped, Mothering Sunday had all but died out in the UK until the Second World War. During this time, the influence of American servicemen and women helped revive interest in the UK, and Mother’s Day as we know it came to life.

The commercialisation of the day has grown tenfold since it was officially recognised as a holiday in 1914, but despite this, we still find ourselves stuck for ideas of what to buy every year.

Whether it is flowers, chocolate or something more thoughtful like a new sofa… Mother’s Day is an opportunity to show your mum the appreciation she deserves, so make sure you make the most of it, and make her feel special all day!

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