The history of Mother's Day

Find out why Mum’s are spoiled on March 11

Mum’s across the UK will soon enjoy a delicious breakfast in bed. Then, whilst glancing every now and then across at the beautiful bouquet of flowers they were given by their doting children and loved ones. 

Why all the fuss on Mother’s Day? There are different stories…

Back in the 1600s, Mothering Sunday was celebrated each year on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honour of Virgin Mary. Servants, apprentices and other employees living away from their homes were encouraged by employers to visit their mothers and bring them gifts such as fruit cake or flowers.

Another story is that it originated in Boston. Here, writer and feminist Julia Ward Howe wrote an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world entitled “Appeal to Womanhood”. In 1872, Howe asked for the celebration of a "Mother's Day for Peace" on 2 June of every year, but she was unsuccessful. In fact, the modern day Mother’s Day was established by Anna Jarvis years later, when she held a memorial ceremony to honour her late mother and all mothers at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in West Virginia. In 1914, inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts in the United States, Constance Penswick-Smith created the Mothering Sunday Movement in the UK and in 1921 she wrote a book asking for the revival of the festival. By the 50s, Mothering Sunday was celebrated across all the UK.

Some facts at a glance

  • Flowers are still the favourite Mother's Day gift - particularly roses - but make sure to choose your mother's favourite flower!
  • A lot of people don’t order a gorgeous bouquet from the florist but run, last minute, to the supermarket or petrol station. The first option is of course much more personal.
  • In our ‘always on’ world, you can now send flowers on the day itself!
  • Flowers are not only a Mum’s favourite gift for Mother’s Day, but also as gifts on many other occasions. Many people give flowers as a personal gift to someone regularly.
  • Cut flowers are seen as beautiful, loving and cheerful and never fail to put a smile on someone’s face.
  • In America, Mother-in-Law Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in October. If you want to make a good impression, you know what gift you have to get her...!
  • Research has found that men spend over £12 more on Mother's Day than women! 

We’ve taken the thinking out of Mother’s Day. All you need to remember is to buy a beautiful bouquet of flowers and you’re good to go. What flowers will you surprise your Mum with? Let us know in the comments below. We are curious!