With Mother's Day on the horizon it seems like a good time to find out a little more about it and why we celebrate it. In the UK and Ireland, Mother's Day is traditionally a day to show our amazing Mums just how much we love and appreciate them. After all being a mother is the hardest job in the world! We give them cards, flowers, chocolates and hopefully breakfast in bed on a lazy Sunday morning.
However a lot of people don't realise that Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday are actually two different days. The first meaning of Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday have become a bit muddled over time, although the origins of both are different at the end of the day they mean the same thing. To show how much we love our Mum.
Celebrating Mother's Day dates back to ancient Greek times when every Spring they would celebrate Rhea, the Mother of the Gods and Goddesses. The Romans would also celebrate as far back as 250BC with their own mother Goddess Cybele in March.
Since the 16th century Mothering Sunday however has been celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. Originally it was a day to honour and give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary.
These celebrations encouraged people to visit their own 'mother' church - the main church or cathedral for the family. With the spread of Christianity throughout Europe at this time, celebrations increased and firmly put Mothering Sunday on the calendar. It was seen as essential that people returned to their home 'mother' church to make it a true honoured family occasion. It reunited families and gave young children who worked as domestic servants, and apprentices away from home, the rare opportunity to have the day off to join their family and most importantly see their mother.