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We all know that the modern Mothering Sunday is the celebration of the maternal characters in our lives such as mums, step-mums and grandmothers. We often shower them with gifts and special days out, but the holiday was not always celebrated in this way. Treat your mum to a day at Jordans Mill! Book your table for our Mother’s Day lunch in the Riverside Café:


The holiday’s Ancient origins:


Ancient Greece: The Greeks held an annual celebration in Spring to honour the mythological goddess, Rhea. She was known as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses.

The Romans: The Romans also celebrated a Spring festival, but theirs was devoted to Magna Mater, Latin for ‘Great Mother.’


Differences between the British and American celebrations:


Many people are unaware that the modern Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday are two different holidays. Here are the key differences:

Mothering Sunday (UK):

  • Held on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday.
  • During the 16th century, most Christians in the UK would worship at their nearest parish throughout the year, but on the fourth Sunday of Lent they would return to their ‘mother church.’ This was either the church in which they were baptised or the main church/cathedral in the area. This meant that families would reunite, as children working away from home were given time off so that they could return to see their mothers and other family.


Mother’s Day (USA):

  • Held on the second Sunday in May.
  • Created by the American, Anna Jarvis from West Virginia. After her mother’s death, Jarvis campaigned for a day to celebrate all mothers as it was her mother’s wish to create this national holiday. She was successful and the President at the time, Woodrow Wilson, made it an official American holiday in 1914.


Despite the differences, both days now highlight a similar message. No matter how or when we choose to celebrate the day, honouring the central female figures in our lives is an important and heart-warming gesture.

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