A very British Mother’s Day

A very British Mother’s Day

Mothers day flowersThe world is a difficult place right now and yet Mother’s Day is still coming this Sunday 22nd March in  the UK, and now more than ever we need to celebrate our mums. What’s the significance of the date, and why is it not the same day, or even month, as other countries?

There’s a date coming up that will resonate with those who are mums, those who have a mother, or those who have children: it’s Mother’s Day, and it’s about to arrive here in the UK on Sunday 22 March.

Before you all rush to book the day off, do take note that this is not a public holiday as it falls on a Sunday. In many modern families, mums might wake up to breakfast in bed, with a card placed on a tray alongside a plate of carefully made toast and a perfect cuppa, with a nice sprig of spring flowers in a vase (all overseen by an adult, for the very young). If breakfast is a stretch then brunch, lunch or dinner with the family will be on the menu instead. There are still ways to treat mum, even if you can’t go out right now or go to a restaurant. 

Some of us go wild for Mother’s Day, treating it a lot like birthdays, Easter and Christmas, but is all this celebrating a little over the top? What is the origin of this marked-up diary date, and how is it celebrated in other countries?

An important point to know is that although the date of Mother’s Day changes every year, it always appears in the same place on our calendars – on the fourth Sunday in Lent, three weeks before Easter. Most notably, its official name is Mothering Sunday.

The day is attributed to a time many years ago, when Christian girls who were working away from home as servants were given one day a year where they were able to make a return trip to visit their ‘mother church’ and family. That date was chosen to fall right in the middle of the two busy times of Christmas and Easter.

On the way back to their families, the girls would buy flowers and gifts for mothers to celebrate the reunion, and this is the celebratory bit that seems to have stuck, while the religious significance has faded over time.

A sprinkling of other nations share our Mother’s Day, namely Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Ireland and Nigeria, while other countries have different dates due to differing attitudes. In America, it was activist Anna Jarvis who prompted the creation of a day to commemorate mothers, resulting in the second Sunday in May being earmarked. In France the event is said to date back to Napoleonic times, when the emperor declared a day be set aside for the nation to pay tribute to mothers. Whatever the country, it seems that modern Mother’s Days are simply a nice excuse to get together with our mums & treat them– or in my case, to be treated.

And no matter where you are from, let’s celebrate Mother’s Day together this year. How will you be celebrating?

To find out more about British traditions and celebrations, book onto our online British culture courses 

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