For centuries it was custom for people to return home to their ‘mother’ church in the middle of Lent. Those who did so were said to have gone ‘a-mothering’. The day often turned into a family reunion and a chance for children working away from home to spend time with their mothers.
It was an American social activist, Anna Jarvis (1864-1948), who campaigned for an official day to honour mothers in the US and is regarded as the "Mother of Mother's Day". She dedicated her life to lobbying for the day after swearing she would do so after her mother's death. In Great Britain, it was Constance Smith who, inspired by a 1913 newspaper report of Jarvis' campaign, began pushing for the day to be officially marked in England.
Smith founded the Mothering Sunday Movement and even wrote a booklet The Revival of Mothering Sunday in 1920.
By 1938 Mothering Sunday had become a popular celebration with Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and various parishes across Britain marking the day and communities adopting the imported traditions of American and Canadian soldiers during the war. By the 1950s it was being celebrated throughout Britain.
In the continent they celebrate Mother's Day in different days altogether.
Whatever the day, let's not forget to make the day special for mums (and grandmas) and thank them for all the hard work, the patience and strength they show, day in, day out.