Mother’s Day has long been known as the day when we show love and gratitude to the women who raised us; whether that be by presenting them with flowers or a box of chocolates. But just where did the tradition come from?
There are several days throughout the year that have tradition etched on them; Halloween, Christmas, Father’s Day and of course, Mother’s Day.
However, you may be surprised to learn the true meaning of Mother’s Day, and how the attitudes of people towards this day have changed over the centuries.
It is said to have begun with the ancient Greeks and Romans who honoured
the goddesses of motherhood, Rhea and Cybele. And in the UK, what we now know as Mother’s Day actually dates back to the 1600s where, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, a church service honouring the Virgin Mary would take place and children would buy gifts and flowers to show their gratitude to their own mother’s.
However, by the 19th century, this celebration had all but died out and was only revived after World War 2, when American servicemen brought back the custom to the UK. It was, in fact, an American woman named Anna Jarvis who breathed new life into Mother’s Day. Following her mother’s death, Anna set about campaigning to have Mother’s Day marked as an annual holiday, as she felt that this was a perfect way in which to honour the sacrifices that mothers make for their children.
With Mother’s Day now successfully added to the national calendar, it was soon capitalised by merchants who realised that they could pocket from its popularity.
Understandably, Jarvis became enraged at the commercialisation of this special day. As a result, she spent the rest of her life campaigning to have Mother’s Day removed from the calendar although, ultimately, she was unsuccessful in doing so.
In the UK, the date of Mother’s Day varies from year to year as it always falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent. This year it will be on Sunday 22nd March; so be prepared!
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