Why do we celebrate Mother's Day? | The British Hamper Co Blog - The British Hamper Company

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Why Is Mother’s Day Celebrated?

23 Feb 2023

Mother’s Day – what’s it all about?

This year, we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday 19th March.

It’s easy for us to accept it as an annual occasion and shower our mother figures with Mother’s Day gifts. But do you ever wonder where Mother’s Day came from? And why we celebrate it?

Well, the Mother’s Day as we know it has its origins in an early Christian festival known as Mothering Sunday. (Though even as far back as the Ancient Greeks and Romans, festivals were held to honour mother goddesses).

This Mothering Sunday fell on the 4th Sunday in Lent. The faithful would return to their ‘mother church’ or the one nearest their home.

Here there’d be a special service with prayers and worshipping of the Virgin Mary, and kids in the congregation would then give their mothers little bunches of flowers.

Later in time, Mothering Sunday was when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mothers and they might attend church together. This was a rare and cherished day off for all the family.

But by the early 1900’s the custom of keeping Mothering Sunday had begun to lapse.

So then what happened?

Well, in 1908 over in the US, an American woman called Anna Jarvis (look her up, interesting story!)  founded ‘Mother’s Day’ inspired by the death of her mother.

This in turn inspired a British woman called Constance Penswick-Smith to re-establish Mothering Sunday in the UK in 1914.

And during World War 2 it was common for American and Canadian soldiers overseas to send gifts back to their mothers on this day.

Soon UK merchants and retailers saw the commercial opportunity and by the 1950s Mother’s Day was celebrated across all the UK.

But what are we celebrating exactly?

Mother's Day is an occasion in various parts of the world to express respect and love towards mothers.

It’s a celebration of all maternal figures and the acknowledgement of the role of mothers in societies.

It’s NOT just about mothers - it can be any motherly figure in your life.

Did you know these facts about Mother’s Day?

  • Mother’s Day (also known as Mothering Sunday) always falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent which is 3 weeks before Easter. The date varies each year due to Easter dates changing.
  • Mother’s Day is one of the biggest occasions for gift-giving and card giving after Christmas.
  • Mother’s Day is celebrated in 46 countries around the world.
  • According to the Flowers and Plants Association, Mother’s Day is the biggest event in the UK’s cut flower and indoor plant industry.
  • According to the British Retail Consortium around £45m is spent on Mother’s Day cards and around 4 million people buy a box of chocolates.
  • Mother’s Day is the 5th most popular holiday in the UK.
  • Mother’s Day is regarded most favourably in Poland where 85% of people regard it as a ‘proper’ holiday (YouGov).
  • Sweet fact….the first sound a baby can vocalise  is a ‘ma’ sound.

So that’s the background to Mother’s Day for us in the UK.

Will you be celebrating your mother figure(s) in your life on the 23rd March or do you feel it’s too commercialised these days?

If you’re still looking for Mother’s Day gifts, check out our Mother’s Day hampers.

Or, go one step further and make your own Mother’s Day hamper! Head to our ‘Make Your Own Hamper’ page to choose all their favourite treats this Mother’s Day.

Do keep in touch - we’d love to hear your views and how you’ve celebrated!