Did you know that Mother’s Day was first held in the United States in 1908, as a celebration started by Anna Jarvis who wanted a day to celebrate mothers following the death of her own. It had even earlier roots in the US from the endeavours of Julia Ward Howe, who mooted it as a Mother’s Peace Day with reference to the American Civil War; she tried to initiate a day honouring mothers in the late 1870′s. However, Mothering Sunday, the original celebration in the UK, originates in both Protestant and Catholic churches and is tied to the Church calendar, falling on the 4th Sunday in Lent. This explains why the US and the UK have different dates for what appears to be the same celebration but are actually quite different events. It is also tied to both the Greek and Roman culture and is associated with celebrations of Spring and maternal goddesses. In the recent history of the UK, Mothering Sunday was a day when young girls had a day off from their work in service and could walk home to spend the day with family, perhaps taking a small treat from their place of work or gathering flowers on the way home to present to their much loved mum.
So educationally, Mothering Sunday has plenty to offer. It can be used to tie into:-
- Greek or Roman culture
- Understanding calendars
- Differences between UK & US traditions
- Goddesses and mythology
- Victorians and girl/child employment
Likewise it is easy to see why so many of the crafts and gifts we make with children and this time of year have so much in common. Spring, rebirth, mothering and growth echo through so many of the celebrations at this time of year.
When planning crafts of educational activities for Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day, crafts that include spring flowers, small gifts of food or baking, handmade items such as ones girls might have crafted from easily available materials in the past. It’s easy to see why a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates have become the norm!
Here are some of my favourite ways to spend Mother’s Day.
- A day out, with a picnic and it not being my job to make sure everyone has a hat, coat and sensible shoes.
- A family meal together, with plenty of time to chat, where I don’t have to remind people to clear the table.
- A few hours in a nice tidy living room, surrounded by my chicks (NOT ARGUING!) while I crochet.
- A family film under blankets with a chick under each arm and then they have an early bed so I get to do the same again with Daddy Duck.