Mother’s Day, which falls on Sunday 31 March this year, is on a different day to the American Mother’s Day.
This can result in some confusion surrounding the day to say the least, especially since the UK date also changes every year.
But worry not – we’re here to explain everything you need to know about why Mother’s Day in the UK is on a different day every year, and why it’s on a different day to American Mother’s Day.
Why does the date of Mother’s Day change?
In the UK, Mother’s Day has roots in the church, and was at first utterly unrelated to American Mother’s day, which falls much later on 12 May.
Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, and exactly three weeks before Easter.
Therefore, as the date of Easter changes every year with the lunar calendar, so too does Mother’s Day.
Why is Mother’s Day different in the UK that the US?
Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday, started out as a day when Christians would take a trip to their ‘mother church’, or the church where they were first christened.
A side effect of this was that people would often also end up visiting their actual mothers as a result.
These days, we tend to skip the church part go straight to appreciating our mothers and all the work they’ve done for us with gifts, cards and visits back home.
This custom started at least partly because we took a leaf out of America’s book – they started celebrating mothers with a national holiday back in 1914.
The campaign for Mother’s Day to be recognised as a holiday began in 1905, which was the year Anna Jarvis’ mother Ann died.
Ann Jarvis had been an advocate for peace and cared for wounded soldiers who on both sides of the American Civil War, and when she died, her daughter Anna campaigned to establish Mother’s Day national holiday in America and then later internationally.
By 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday, and the rest as they say, is history.