Ideas for Mothers Day
Mother’s Day Competition – 9th March
I want to see your favourite photo of you with your mum. All photos must be submitted by close of play via WhatsApp. The winner will have a special bouquet of flowers delivered in time for Mother’s Day by one of my favourite suppliers Willow and Blooms. The winner will be after the competition ends for address details and personal message requirements.
The Origins of ‘Mothering Sunday’
Celebrations of motherly figures date back to ancient periods, with the Greeks holding festivals of worship every spring to celebrate Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, and the Romans honouring their mother goddess, Cybele, every March as early as 250BC.
Yet, the early Christian date, known as Mothering Sunday, is the first clear recognition of the maternal bond, beginning as a religious occasion in the 16th century to give thanks to the Virgin Mary, or Mother Mary.
The development of Christianity across Europe led to Mothering Sunday becoming an official calendar date, falling on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
Throughout the years during this period, people in England and Ireland would regularly visit their ‘daughter’ church, but on Mothering Sunday, people would visit their ‘mother’ church instead to bring offerings of thanks.
The fourth Sunday of Lent is also the date of another Christian celebration, known as Laetare Sunday, where people would return home to their families and mothers from church. Anyone who did this was said to have gone “a-mothering”.
Mothering Sunday later became a day when children and young people, working as domestic servants, were granted a day off to visit their mothers and families. Reunions often took place within the “mother” churches.
While the religious celebration of Mothering Sunday had a significant following for many centuries, by the early 1900s it began to decline, following the Americanisation of Mother’s Day.
Anna Jarvis and the impact of the U.S. campaign for “Mother’s Day”
While “Mothering Sunday” originates from the UK and Ireland, the history behind Mother’s Day is slightly different, originating from a U.S. movement.
American social activist Anna Jarvis, from Grafton, West Virginia, was behind the creation of Mother’s Day, lobbying the government for an official day.
Her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, dedicated her life to motherhood, creating work clubs before the Civil War, which taught women how to care for their children. She also set up the Mother’s Friendship Day in 1868, uniting mothers with former Union and Confederate soldiers.
Following her mother’s death on May 9, 1905, Anna Jarvis fought for the official holiday, to honour the sacrifices mothers made for their children and in May 1908, she organised the first official Mother’s Day celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
After her first celebration proved a success, Jarvis wanted her holiday to become a national calendar date, suggesting American holidays favoured male achievements.
Nicknamed the ‘Mother of Mother’s Day’, Jarvis began a letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians, urging them to create an annual holiday.
Her message later spread and by 1912, many states, towns and churches made Mother’s Day an official celebration, while Jarvis formed the Mother’s Day International Association to raise further awareness.
Her fight and dedicated campaign soon paid off, after President Woodrow Wilson officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Americans have recognised the day annually ever since and this year, Mother’s Day in the US falls on Sunday, May 9.
Jarvis’s fight to recognise mothers even inspired others, including Constance Adelaide Smith, who helped increase recognition of the UK Mothering Sunday again, following its decline.
Smith was left inspired by a newspaper article in 1913, detailing Jarvis’ campaign in America, and as a result published “The Revival of Mothering Sunday” in 1920.
Smith, along with Ellen Porter, a colleague from the Girls’ Friendly Society lodge, also led a movement to promote Mothering Sunday, publishing information about the UK traditions and Christian origin.
By the time of Smith’s death, Mothering Sunday was said to be recognised across the whole British Empire.