How and why we celebrate Mother's Day
Mother's Day falls on Sunday March 19 this year and traditionally, flowers, cards and gifts are exchanged as a show of appreciation for everything our mothers have done for us.
You might gather together for lunch, head out for some family time, take her breakfast in bed or simply give your mum a minute's peace. Cards and flowers are usually the order of the day and a gift or two to show how much you care.
Mother's Day, for some, is also a chance to remember the mums who have passed and why they were so very special. There are all kinds of mums – adoptive, step-mothers and any woman in your life you consider special,
The date is set according to the celebration's Christian foundations and calendar and always takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday - which this year falls on April 9.
Like many traditions and festivities, Mothering Sunday began with a religious purpose. Held on the fourth Sunday in Lent, it was a originally a day to honour and give thanks to the Virgin Mary and during the celebrations, people would visit their 'mother' church - the main church in a family's area. The gatherings reunited families and gave children who worked away from home the chance to return, join their families and see their mother.
Mothering Sunday was once also known as 'Refreshment Sunday' – the mid-lent Sunday where fasting could be eased for the day and people could enjoy a meal together as a family. Enjoying simnel cakes was also once a tradition on Mothering Sunday.
The day gathered more of a following at the time of the Second World War when Americans and Canadians celebrated Mother’s Day and others followed. Many countries follow the USA and celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, others celebrate it on March 8 which is International Women’s Day.
By the 1950s, the practices of the Christian festival had broadly merged with the commercial aspects of Mother’s Day.
We have various names for mothers – northerners often refer to our mam, m’mam or m’mum. There is also mummy, mammy – see Mrs Brown’s Boys for confirmation – Ma and mater.
One thing we come to know as we grow older is mums are always right. These are some things they told us:
Learn from your mistakes
Family comes first
No means no
I want never gets
You will understand when you have children
Choose your friends carefully
Eat your greens
Patience is a virtue – possess it if you can. It’s seldom in a woman and never in a man.
Go to the loo before you leave the house
Be a good listener
Be kind to others, even if they’re not kind to you
Always wear clean underwear in case you get run over
Never go to bed on an argument
Speak up for what you believe in
Try to see the best in people
Don’t put on your coat until you get outside or you won’t feel the benefit
Always open doors for others
A leopard never changes its spots
Never go to bed with wet hair
If you can’t be good, be careful
Don’t frown or you’ll get wrinkles
To have loved and lost is better than to have never loved at all
Crossing your legs leads to varicose veins.