Sunday 26 March is Mothering Sunday. This annual celebration of motherhood, and the maternal bond, usually involves giving Mum a card, a gift and a bunch of flowers to let her know that you care. Other maternal figures like grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law can also be honoured on this special day.
How Did The Celebration Of Mothering Sunday Begin?
Now known as Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day, the tradition of honouring motherhood began in England around the 1600s, and was originally called ‘Refreshment Sunday’ or ‘Mid-Lent Sunday’. The tradition was started as a way of reuniting the young children, who were sent to work as domestic servants and apprentices, with their mothers once a year. The date of the annual visit home was the 3rd Sunday during the fasting period of Lent. After paying a visit to church, the children would gather flowers from roadside bushes and verges and present these blooms to their mothers. Young girls baked a rich almond Simnel Cake, which is still eaten today.
Today, Mother’s Day is a day when children make the effort to spoil their mums. Flower sales usually record a major rise in profits at this time of the year. The bestselling Mothering Sunday flowers are roses, carnations and chrysanthemums.
International Mother’s Day
In Australia, Mothers Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. There is a tradition of wearing a carnation, which originated in the USA – a white carnation means that you are honouring a mother in spirit, whilst a coloured carnation symbolises that your mum is alive. Mothers receive flowers and gifts, and may also enjoy breakfast in bed.
In Canada, Mothers Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Caring children honour their mums, grandmothers and other women who are like their mothers. Mothers are taken out for lunch or dinner and are generally treated like a queen.
The French celebrate ‘Maman’s’ special day on the last Sunday in the month of May. The family will gather for a big family lunch, and mothers receive gifts and a bouquet of flowers.
Mother’s Day is a fairly new tradition in India. It is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mothering Sunday has been embraced by the Indian people, and now forms part of their cultural festival timetable.
Mothers Day in Mexico is celebrated on May 10th in a colourful fashion. Churches in Mexico organise a special mass that features an orchestra. All local mothers receive tasty ‘tamales’ and ‘atole’ snacks.
The second Sunday in May is the day when people in New Zealand honour mothers. The event is a big deal, and is celebrated in a manner that is inspired by Mother’s Day in the USA. Flowers, gifts and treats, and breakfast in bed is on the agenda.
The people of South Africa celebrate Mother’s Day by honouring the importance of mothers in their lives and giving thanks. Mother’s Day is held on the second Sunday in May. As in the USA and Australia, carnations are worn.
In Spain, Mother’s Day is celebrated on December 8th. This extravagant religious festival also honours the Virgin Mary.
In the USA Mothers Day is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. It is due to the hard work of Ms Anna Jarvis that Mother’s Day is actually celebrated as a national holiday. On the second Sunday in May, American people honour the Mother of Mothers Day, their mothers and other mother figures in their lives. Carnations are worn, flowers and gifts are presented and children express their love for their mother in personal ways.