Where did Mother’s Day originate?

Where did Mother’s Day originate?

The origins of Mother’s Day and commemorating motherhood is a concept that dates back to the Ancient Greeks.
The goddess Rhea, who was considered the ‘Mother of the Gods,’ was celebrated in their spring festival.

Mothering Sunday, which featured in the Christian calendar from as far back as the 16th century, wasn’t originally a celebration of motherhood, but a time during Lent when people returned to their mother church, or main church,
for a special service.
Families reuniting at this Mothering Sunday service would give gifts to each other, and children would pick flowers on the way to church and give the bouquets to their mothers. Hence, the tradition of giving flowers on Mother’s Day.

In medieval times, apprentices and servants were given Mothering Sunday off to return home to see their mothers, taking a special Mother’s Day cake known as a Simnel cake.

Early in the 20th century, an American woman named Anna Jarvis conceived the idea of Mother’s Day, after her mother’s death in 1905. She believed it should be a way of honouring the sacrifices mothers made for their children,
and lobbied President Woodrow Wilson, resulting in Mother’s Day becoming an official American holiday in 1914.

In Australia, Mother’s Day dates back to 1924 when a young woman named Janet Heyden made it a habit to visit patients in a rest home in Sydney, known as Newington State Home for Women.
During her visits she noticed that many of the women that were there were mothers and they had been left there, alone and forgotten.
As a way of cheering up these women on her visits, Janet Heyden visited local schools and organisations, collecting small gifts such as flowers, cards and sweets to give to the women.
As the idea of honouring these women became more popular, more people joined in.
Since 1924, Australians have continued to show their appreciation for their mothers and the women in their lives who are mothers.

In Australia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. A modern Mother’s Day celebration typically includes flowers, chocolate, Mum’s favourite tipple, a gift hamper full of all her favourite things or a dinner at her favourite restaurant, accompanied by a thoughtful Mother’s Day card.


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