UK
04/03/2015 12:01 GMT | Updated 04/03/2015 12:59 GMT

When Is Mother's Day And What's It All About?

This year the officially-sanctioned day for honouring one’s mother is on Sunday 15 March.

Hopefully you’re showing your dear old mum lots of love and attention for the rest of the year too, but this is the day we go all out.

While for many the event is symbolised by bouquets of blooms and hastily purchased soap and moisturiser sets, the origins are far less commercial.

mother and son vintage

Show her you love her. (All year round)

It dates back to a custom in the Middle Ages which saw people who had moved away from where they had grown up, invited to return and visit their home churches and mothers on the fourth Sunday of the Christian festival of Lent, the BBC explains.

Indeed the correct name for the event in Britain is Mothering Sunday.

Mother’s Day is also a tradition in the United States, though on that side of the pond it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

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It was founded by Anna Jarvis and was originally intended for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. Jarvis organised the first Mother’s Day observances in 1908 following the death of her own mother, National Geographic writes.

Jarvis, who never had a child of her own, grew to loathe the commercialism associated with the event, remarking: “A printed card means nothing, except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.

"And candy! You take a box to Mother - and then eat most of it yourself."

simnel cake

Say it with simnel cake

Meanwhile the revival of Mothering Sunday in Britain is attributed to Constance Smith, who was inspired by reading a newspaper article about Jarvis’s campaign in 1913, the Telegraph reports.

It was Smith who also resurrected the tradition of gifting mothers with simnel cakes, as referenced by the 17th century poet Robert Herrick: “I’ll to thee a Simnel bring,/ Gainst thou go’st a Mothering.”

Homemade Mother's Day Gifts