How We Celebrate Mother’s Day in Ireland
Mammy, mum, mom, mam, or ma – no matter what you call yours, there’s an important day approaching! March 19th is Mother’s Day this year in Ireland; an occasion to celebrate your nearest and dearest and let them know just how much you care.
Of course, it’s not merely about saluting the woman who gave birth to you, but about all of those who’ve played a mothering role in life. It could be an aunt or a grandmother, a sister or a family friend, a mother-in-law or a mentor – anyone who’s been a nurturing presence as you developed into the person you are today. Indeed, that’s far closer to the original meaning of the holiday – which brings us to a history that might surprise you…
The history of Mother’s Day
If you’re wondering when is mother’s day in Ireland, and why it differs from the rest of the world, there’s a reason for our seasonal celebration.
Mother’s Day in Ireland is celebrated on a Sunday in March each year, around the midway point of Lent. The reason for this is that mother’s day in Ireland was originally a religious custom.
The tradition was for the Church to give people a break from the strict fasting of Lent, and have them attend services in their ‘mother church’ – often the church where they were baptised or the nearest cathedral.
In medieval times in Ireland, many children from poor families would work as servants in richer households. On Mother’s Day, they were given the day off to attend these special church services and encouraged to pick flowers to present to their mother on the way home. This was often referred to as ‘mothering’, and so the day became known as ‘Mothering Sunday’.
Mothering largely fell out of favour by the 18th century, but thanks to two trailblazers in the U.S. and U.K., it became popular once again. The first was named Anna Jarvis, who lead the movement for a commemorative day for mothers in the U.S. in 1913.
Following on from her efforts, Constance Penwick Smith created the Mothering Sunday Movement in the U.K. Her definition of the day was much broader than biological mothers; she called attention to the church, ‘Mothers of Earthly Homes’, and the ‘Gifts of Mother Earth’.
That’s a large part of the reason why Mother’s Day is really a day for all – and why, whether you’re celebrating the most important women in your life or celebrating the wonders of nature, there’s no wrong way to do it!
MOTHER’S DAY ALL AROUND THE WORLD
By now, there may well be readers outside of Ireland frantically checking their calendars, wondering how on earth Mother’s Day crept up on them so quickly. The reality, of course, is that Mother’s Day is marked at different times of the year in different parts of the world.
In the United States, Canada, New Zealand – and, really, most of the rest of the planet! – the tradition is marked on the second Sunday of May. There are a host of nations where the occasion coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8th, while others still choose the last Sunday in May.
Many Swedes will tell you that they celebrate later than most to allow the weather to get a little bit nicer! Norwegians pull out the stops in February, while in Argentina it’s not until October that they observe the holiday.
The methods of celebrating the Mother’s Day message are pretty varied too, from lavish feasts and elaborate cakes to self-penned poems and homemade decorations. Carnations are the flowers most readily associated with the day in many countries, though Aussies prefer chrysanthemums – and it’s not just because they’ve got ‘mum’ in the name!
There’s one thing that’s for certain, though; no matter when it’s celebrated, and no matter how it’s celebrated, just about every place on the planet recognises the importance of Mother’s Day, and make it a priority to take the time to honour some of the most prominent people in their lives.
Make your Mother’s Day special
What all of that means, of course, is that when it comes to celebrating this special day, the possibilities are endless. It can be hard to know what to get your mom for mother’s day, but no matter what she’s interested in, there’s a way to show you care.
Whether it’s a sweet treat to show your affection, pampering products just made for rest and relaxation, or gorgeous jewellery to say thanks with a little sparkle, there’s bound to be a perfect gift for the special someone you’re shopping for this year. Stunning knitwear, handcrafted homeware, the list goes on; for every perfect mother worth celebrating, there’s a great gift to match.
If you want to make it extra-special, then personalisation is a fantastic option. At Carroll’s, our engraving services are available on a wide range of products, from wine glasses to watches and coasters to cutting boards. We know just how important the personal touch can be, and expressing your mother’s day wishes in your own words is a great way to show how much you care.
So no matter who you’re celebrating, where they might be, and what gift will mean it’s a day they’ll never forget, be sure to make this year’s Mother’s Day a special one.