Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates around the world. This occasion, though, had its early beginnings in the U.K.
The United Kingdom (U.K.) celebrates Mother’s Day on a different date than what most other countries follow. The Britons normally mark this special day on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
As the period of Lent varies each year, so does the Mother’s Day celebration in the U.K. This year 2013, it falls on a Sunday, the 10th of March.
Not many people know that the U.K. was the first to designate a specific day to honor mothers even before the U.S. started the tradition. Their celebration goes back to the early 1600s and was then referred to as Mothering Sunday.
This British tradition, however, lasted only until the Industrial Revolution when changes occurred in the lifestyle and working conditions of people in England. What’s left of it was the custom of making a rich almond cake for moms called mothering or simnel cake. Other than this, all other things in line with this special occasion follow the U.S. tradition.
Based on testimonies by historians, the U.K.’s Mothering Sunday began as a practice of visiting one’s mother church each year particularly on Laetare Sunday. During this day, mothers were reunited with their children who were then released by their masters for the weekend. Until now, some churches continue to commemorate the original sense of Mothering Sunday such as honoring Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
In the U.S., Canada, Australia and other countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday of May. Anna Jarvis is credited for starting this tradition in 1908 as her way of fulfilling her mother’s dream of creating a celebration for all moms. It was in 1914 when this day for mothers was declared an official national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson.
It is this American tradition that promoted the giving of gifts to moms on their special day. Flowers, cards and many other personal items have become popular gifts worldwide.
Countries in the Asian region have varying dates as well. Indonesia marks its Mother’s Day every 22nd of December. Originally, the day was meant to celebrate the spirit of Indonesian women and to improve the country’s condition. Later, though, it evolved as a day to express love and gratitude to mothers.
In China, this day was set to help poor mothers and to raise awareness on the existence of poor mothers in the rural areas of the country. It is, however, celebrated only in a few cities and not considered an official holiday.
Photo via thegloss.com
About the guest author:
Fiona is a writer who admits to being a flower giver to family and friends during special occasions. Next day flower delivery UK is available for those looking for special Mother’s Day presents.