This Sunday is Mothering Sunday (aka Mother's Day) in the UK. It is always the Sunday before Palm Sunday (the fourth Sunday in Lent) as traditionally it was the day when people went home to their Mother Church, rather than worshiping where they lived. This normally meant seeing their mother as well and it naturally evolved.
Mother's Day in the US was started by Anna Jarvis in 1912 who sought to honour her mother with a day of peace. In the US, Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May because it is the one nearest to Miss Jarvis's mother's birthday. Anna Jarvis. Australia started their celebration in 1924 as Mrs Janet Hayden saw many lonely and forgotten mothers in a hospital and wanted to do something to cheer them up. because the UK already had Mothering Sunday, there was no need for a special day to be set aside.
Other countries celebrate different days which are special to women and mothers. In Muslim countries, this is 21 March as it celebrates the birth of the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. So the day celebrating mothers depends on the country but thanks to the efforts of several determined people, it is celebrated.
The whole thing confused me when I first moved to the UK. Because I live in the UK, my children do Mothering Sunday. I have to remember to send flowers to my mother on the US Mother's Day. My mother gets very cross if I failed to remember the right day. My eldest son son had this problem last year as he was in the US. I was sent a Mother's Day card in May, rather getting one in March.
Personally I am just pleased to be remembered what ever day it is.
This is my daughter's first year at university and she made sure she sent me a card and because she was feeling homesick, she included a letter detailing why I was important to her. It made me cry as it came from the heart and I was so pleased she had done that. I plan to do the same for my mother come the second Sunday in May.
So whatever day you celebrate Mother's Day, take the time and tell your mother why she is special to you. Not just a card or flowers but why you love her. And if your mother is no longer here, you can still write her a letter and tell her as she does live on in your heart. Your mother will be glad you did.
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical. Her next book His Unsuitable Viscountess will be published in August 2012, and then Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match in November 2012. You can learn more about Michelle's books by visiting her website www.michellestyles.co.uk