The difference between Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday

The difference between Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday

Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday both celebrated on different days but the main theme of celebration of both days remain same (Honoring motherhood) when mothers are pampered and showered with flowers, gifts and sweets. Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world at different times of the year.

The day is a celebration of mothers and the maternal bond and traditionally children give flowers, presents and cards to their mothers, and other maternal figures such as grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law. Mothering Sunday is celebrated in the same way as Mother’s Day is celebrated elsewhere.

Mother’s Day abroad

Around the globe, it is celebrated of Mother’s Day is on different days ranging from February to December. Mothers Day was an American celebration started by Anna Jarvis and celebrated on second Sunday of May every year. Mothering Sunday is an old Christian holiday celebrated on fourth Sunday of Lent every year in countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom. France the Fete des Meres falls on the last Sunday of May. Parts of India celebrate the Western version of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. However, Hindus in India celebrate the goddess Durga, or Divine Mother, in October with a 10-day festival. Named Durga Puga, the festivities celebrate the triumph of good over evil which is symbolized through the exchange of gifts with family and friends.

Mother’s Day celebrations in Mexico take place on 10 May. Churches in Mexico hold a special mass in honor of Mother’s Day, which is often followed by a community breakfast. Some families hire mariachi bands to wake their mothers with a song on the special day. Mother’s Day in Ethiopia is celebrated with a three-day celebration mid-autumn. This days-long feast is known as Antrosht. The second Sunday in February is set aside for Mother’s Day in Norway. In several Middle Eastern countries it is celebrated on the first day of spring. August 12 is Mother’s Day in Thailand. The last Sunday in November is Mother’s Day in Russia.

Mother’s Day in Japan, called Haha no Hi, previously fell on the birthday of Empress Kojun, who ruled with her husband across much of the 20th century. More recently, the holiday has merged with the USA version and is now celebrated in May.

History of Mothers Day

Anna Jarvis who was born in the United States started a movement towards Mothers day in 1914. Three years after her Mothers death she held a memorial ceremony to honour her mother and all other mothers at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, which marked the first official observance of what we now call Mother’s Day. In the following years Anna Jarvis embarked upon a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” an actual recognized holiday in the United States.

History of Mothering Sunday

The celebration of Mothering Sunday began centuries ago by Catholic and Protestant Christians. During the sixteenth century people returned to their main mother church for a service to be held on the fourth Sunday of the season of lent, known as Laetare Sunday. Anyone who often did this was commonly said to have gone “a-mothering”.

Mothering Sunday traditionally, was a day when domestic workers could return to see their mothers, as they would have few opportunities to see them through the year. It was also used in church services to celebrate motherhood and the birth of the young.


No matter what date Mother’s Day is celebrated, it is a day to honor mothers everywhere. Some families give gifts; others honor their mothers with large celebrations. Flowers are a popular gift given to mothers in many countries. We always want to show our appreciation whether it is breakfast in bed, doing something on her ‘to do list’, cooking her favourite meal on the day and of course giving her that carefully selected and cherished gift. Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday no matter what name you give it is long associated with mothers and family. The day have resulted into a major commercial opportunity, with Hallmark leading in manufacturing cards by the early 1920s.

What is certain is that across the globe, Mother’s Day is seen as a way to celebrate our love of our mum’s thanking them for everything they have done for us. Perhaps with what has happened over the past 12 month’s across the globe, now it is more important than ever before.

Mother Quote

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.