Difference between Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday

Key Difference: Mother’s Day is an American Holiday, while Mothering Sunday is an old Christian holiday that is commonly celebrated in some parts of Europe.Mother’s Day is celebrated on the Second Sunday of May in many countries. On the other hand, Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

While Mother’s Day and Mother Sunday sound like variations of each other, these are two different days and signify two different things. Mother’s Day is an American Holiday, while Mothering Sunday is an old Christian holiday that is commonly celebrated in some parts of Europe.

This is one of the many differences between the holidays. Mother’s Day can be dated back to the early 1900s as a day created in order to honor mothers and their continuous service to the house and the children. Anna Jarvis is credited with creating this day in order to commemorate all mothers around the world. The holiday has now become commercial and is celebrated by over 70 countries around the world. On this day, children and spouses shower the mother with presents, flowers, and pamper her the whole day. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the Second Sunday of May in many countries.

On the other hand, Mothering Sunday can be dated back to old Christian days. It is celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Although mothers are honored on this day, the term ‘mothering’ actually refers to the ‘Mother Church’. In the olden days, after a certain age children would leave their parents and go off into service. The boys would go off to apprentice for a master and the girls would go into service. On this day, they would receive an off from their services and were allowed to return home and attend their home church or ‘Mother Church’ for service.

The day of the celebration is also significant as the rules of food that are adhered to during Lent are relaxed on this day in order to enjoy the feast as a family. While coming back, the children would often bring back sweets, presents and treats for their mothers and the family. Now with the commercialization of the holiday, the celebration of the day is now similar to Mother’s Day in the United States. On this day, mothers are often pampered and showered with gifts, sweets and flowers.

Comparison between Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday:

 

Mother’s Day

Mothering Sunday

Date

Second Sunday of May in many countries. However, in many other countries the dates differ

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Significance

Honoring motherhood, maternal bonds and in the role of a mother in the society

Children that have gone off to work return home and visit their family and attend their ‘mother’ church.

Suggested By

Anna Jarvis

N/A

First Celebrated

1908

Unknown

Date of Establishment

1919

Unknown

Holiday

Secular Holiday. Not a federal or public holiday

Secular Holiday. Not a federal or public holiday

Observed by

Over 70 countries

Select countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom

Typical Gifts

Flowers, Breakfast in Bed, Holiday for mothers from all chores, Spa Appointments, Shopping, Jewelry, etc.

Flowers, Presents and Cards

Image Courtesy: conversationsforabetterworld.com, dopcandy.portsmouth.anglican.org

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