Today is Mother’s Day. So, Happy Mother’s Day from Iya Magazine to all mothers and mothers-in-waiting!
Mother’s Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well as the positive contributions that they make to their families and society.
It is a day for many people to show their appreciation towards mothers and mother figures worldwide.
Mother’s Day history
In its present form, Mother’s Day was established by Anna Jarvis with the help of Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker following the death of her mother, Ann Jarvis, on May 9, 1905, and Mother’s Day began in America in 1907.
Anna Jarvis, the daughter of a peace activist who treated wounded soldiers in the American Civil War, campaigned for a day to honour the role played by mothers. She observed the second Sunday in May, as that was when Anna Jarvis held a service to honour her late mother.
The idea gained such traction that, by 1911, all US states took on the holiday.
It was declared a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, who officially stated it should be held in May.
Even though she founded the holiday, Ms Jarvis later strongly opposed its growing commercialisation and eventually campaigned against it.
Eventually, this tradition reached the UK, and Mothering Sunday became more popularly known as Mother’s Day.
The UK date of this celebration is rooted in the Christian observance of Lent, with Mothering Sunday taking place on the fourth Sunday, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday.
For the UK, this observance originated in the Middle Ages, when children who had left their families to work in domestic service were allowed to go to their home – or “mother” – church.
The journey home morphed into a spring occasion for families to reunite, which eventually adopted the custom of children picking flowers on the way home as a gift to their mothers.
The date also became a celebration as the fasting rules of Lent were relaxed, earning the day the name of Refreshment Sunday, Simnel Sunday – after the simnel cakes traditionally baked on the day – and Pudding Pie Sunday.
Are there two Mother’s Day?
While many countries observe this day in the month of May, there are others that celebrate the day in the month of March. International Mother’s Day is celebrated and observed on the second Sunday in the month of May.
Mother’s Day falls on different days depending on the countries where it is celebrated. It is held on the second Sunday of May in many countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United States. It is held exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday in the United Kingdom.
Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, March 19th, 2023 (today) in Nigeria.
Why is Mother’s Day celebrated at different times around the world?
Like the United States, many countries hold Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. However, many other nations celebrate the day on a different date. A celebration that honours motherhood, Mother’s Day is held annually around the world on a range of different dates.
Mother’s Day has become more secular and commercialized and is now celebrated globally.
Some countries gave it a religious meaning, which has been gradually lost over the years. In other countries, the date is based on seasons or times of the year.
While Nigeria joins the UK and Ireland in celebrating mothers on the fourth Sunday of Lent, most countries around the world follow America’s lead in celebrating the holiday on the second Sunday in May, which this year is May 14.
Others, including Russia, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, mark the occasion on International Women’s Day on March 8.
In France, the festivity is traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday of May, but it is moved to the first Sunday of June if it coincides with Pentecost day.