01/03/2016 10:12 GMT | Updated 01/03/2016 10:59 GMT

When Is Mother's Day 2016?

She gave you life itself, so it should follow that you dedicate (at the very least) one day of the year to treating her like royalty.

This year Mother’s Day falls on Sunday March 6, giving you plenty of time to get down to the shops to stock up on tokens of your appreciation.

But beneath the blooms, gifts and balloons, the origins of this day are far less commercial.

mothers day vintage

Mothering Sunday falls on March 6

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

Indeed as you may have already gathered, the correct name for the event in Britain is Mothering Sunday.

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


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.”

Photo gallery Mothers Day Ecards See Gallery