I love my Mammy
The modern Mother's Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis as a day for
each family to honor its mother, and it's now celebrated on various days
in many places around the world. It complements Father's Day, the
celebration honoring fathers.
This holiday is relatively modern, being created at the start of the
20th century, and should not be confused with the early pagan and
Christian traditions honoring mothers, or with the 16th century
celebration of Mothering Sunday, which is also known as Mother's Day in
In most countries the Mother's Day celebration is a recent holiday
derived from the original US celebration. Exceptions are, for example,
the Mothering Sunday holiday in the UK.
Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year
because the day has a number of different origins.
One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother
worship in ancient Greece, which kept a festival to Cybele, a great
mother of Greek gods. This festival was held around the Vernal Equinox
around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March
(15 March) to 18 March.
The ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was
dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.
In addition to Mother's Day, International Women's Day is celebrated in
many countries on March 8.
In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and
"Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association.
"She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a
singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a
plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world."
This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the
law making official the holiday in the U.S., by the U.S. Congress on
bills, and by other U.S. presidents on their declarations.
Common usage in English language also dictates that the ostensibly
singular possessive "Mother's Day" is the preferred spelling.
Great Britain and Ireland
Mothering Sunday is a Christian festival celebrated throughout Europe.
Secularly it is used as a celebration of motherhood, and is synonymous
with Mother's Day as celebrated in other countries; the latter name is
also increasingly used.
A religious festival celebrating motherhood has been existent in Europe
since approximately 250 BC when the Romans honoured the mother goddess
Cybele during mid-March. As the Roman Empire and Europe converted to
Christianity, Mothering Sunday celebrations became part of the
liturgical calendar as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to
honour the Virgin Mary and the "mother church".
During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church for
a service to be held on Laetare Sunday. This was either a large local
church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was
commonly said to have gone "a-mothering", although whether this preceded
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