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Mother's Day (Mothering Sunday)

United Kingdom Ireland Observed in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day is celebrated in the British Isles on the Fourth Sunday in Lent.

When is Mother's Day in the UK and Ireland?

How long until Mothering Sunday?
This holiday next takes place in 205 Days.
Dates of Mother's Day
Year Weekday Date
2019 Sunday March 31st
2018 Sunday March 11th
2017 Sunday March 26th
2016 Sunday March 6th
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Most people today equate Mothering Sunday with the traditions of the American Mothers Sunday. In actual fact, Mothering Sunday has nothing to do with anything maternal

Mother's Day (also known as 'Mothering Sunday') is celebrated in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the fourth Sunday in Lent. It is not a public holiday.

Most people today equate Mothering Sunday with the traditions of the American Mother's Day and although the modern celebration of this holiday in the UK and Ireland is the same as the international version, the origin of Mother's Day in the British Isles has nothing to do with anything maternal.

History of Mother's Day in the UK and Ireland

On the fourth Sunday in Lent, from about the sixteenth century, it had been a tradition for families to attend a church service in the nearest important church or cathedral - their 'Mother' church.

Attending the church service together was a rare occasion for families to gather as one, and members of the family who worked on that day were often given the day off, so they could also attend the service.

As time went by, servants and apprentices were still given the day off, but instead of going to the 'mother' church, they would have used the day off to spend time with their families and indeed their mothers.

So, if you have forgotten to get your mother a gift this Mother's day, don't worry - just tell her the true non-mother related origin of the day - I'm sure she will understand...

Nowadays, Mother's Day is a celebration of the role of the mother, similar to the American tradition, and children will give their Mother's a card and gift; younger children making their mother breakfast is a common activity. Mother's Day is the third most popular holiday for greeting cards, behind Christmas and St. Valentine's Day.

The fourth Sunday in some Christian traditions was known as 'Refreshment Sunday' or the 'Sunday of the five loaves', as it was supposedly the day on which the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand took place when Jesus fed five thousand people despite only having five loaves of bread and two fishes.


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