Mother’s Day is observed in different forms throughout the world.
Have you ever wondered how we came to celebrate mothers, with a day devoted specifically to them?
I have, being a mother myself, and in my professional life I’ve spent much time sourcing gifts, taking orders, creating and delivering beautiful things for other mothers, all in support of their special day. Let me share with you some of what I’ve learned.
Originally, Mothering Sunday was celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians in some parts of Europe, mostly the UK and Ireland, falling on the 4th Sunday of Lent.
Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday because the fasting rules for Lent were relaxed that day.
It was a day when children, usually daughters, who had gone away to work as domestic servants, were given a day off to visit their families and mothers. It was quite common in those days for children to leave home for work once they were ten years old!
In the 16th century, most Sundays in the year churchgoers in England worshiped at their nearest parish or 'daughter church’. Inevitably, the return to the 'mother' church became an occasion for family reunions when children who were working away as domestic servants and apprentices returned home. So each year in the middle of Lent, everyone would visit their 'mother' church - the main church or cathedral of the area.
Historians say that the returning children, as they walked home along the country lanes, would pick wild flowers or violets to take to church or give to their mother as a small gift.
The North American incarnation of Mother's Day was created by the childless Anna Jarvis in 1908 to honour her own hardworking mother, Ann.
It became an official U.S. holiday in 1914 celebrated on the second Sunday of May - although Ms. Jarvis later renounced the holiday due to her feeling that the event was becoming over-commercialized.
“Mothers need to be celebrated!” President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed May 9, 1914. He asked Americans on that day to give a public "thank you" to their mothers and all mothers for their love and care of their families.
Presently, Mother’s Day gifts can include a sweet card, maybe breakfast in bed, lunch out, a posy, or some chocolates to say “Here’s to you Mom!”