The history

The origins of Mother’s Day date back to the second half of the 1800s, in the USA. Ann Reeves Jarvis, a human rights activist from Virginia, created women’s clubs to promote education and assistance to families, improve sanitary conditions and reduce child mortality. In 1868, Ann and the other club members planned Mothers Friendship Day, an event organised to reunite soldiers to their families, who had been separated by the civil war.

For you, Mum.

Following her mother’s death on 9th May 1905, Ann’s daughter Anna decided to create a memorial day in her honour, which she named Mother’s Day. Her efforts did not stop there—she fought so that 10th May would officially become a day dedicated to mothers.
Soon the holiday became so popular that 10th May 1908 marked the first large celebration in Virginia, and shortly after it was decided that the second Sunday of May would be officially dedicated to it.

Anna disagreed with the commercial turn the festivity was taking, and built a task force, the Mother’s Day International Association. This group tried to employ boycotts to restore the true meaning of the holiday, although its efforts were largely unsuccessful.
Mother’s Day continued on its commercial path, definitively abandoning its celebratory principles based on which Anna had instituted and promoted it.

Traditions and curious dates

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the world. However, its traditions and period of celebration differ depending on the country. Let’s discover together the diverse traditions and dates!

The first day of spring

In Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and other Arab countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated on 21st March. The creation of this festivity is attributed to brothers and Egyptian journalists Mostafa and Ali Amin, who in the 1950s proposed in an opinion piece to institute a day in honour of Egyptian mothers. The idea was supported by readers, and Mother’s Day was officially established on the first day of spring.

Mothering Sunday

In the UK, this holiday is called Mothering Sunday and is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In the past on this day, people who were away from home on business had to return to the church where they were baptised. Their return symbolised a reunion between mother and child.
A cake called Simnel—a traditional Easter dessert, made with raisins and candied fruit and two layers of almond paste—was prepared, often by children in honour of their mothers.

Mother’s Day in other countries

In Thailand, Mother’s Day is celebrated on 12th August. The date is the same as Queen Sirikit‘s birthday, mother of the current King Vajiralongkorn. On this special day, the country is brought to life by parades, colourful decorations, and exhibitions of all kinds.

In Mexico, the day is called “”el día de la Madre“”, and is celebrated on 10th May with dances and folk music.

10th May is Mother’s Day in India and Pakistan as well, while in Poland it’s celebrated on 26th May. In France, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, and Haiti, Mother’s Day is on the last Sunday of May, whereas in Kenya it’s on 29th June. In Spain and Portugal, this festivity is celebrated on 8th December, on the same day as the Immaculate Conception.
The second Sunday of February is Mother’s Day in Norway. Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia celebrate it on 8th March, together with Women’s Day.

Regardless of the date, Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the world to honour the women who gave us life.

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