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date: 22 September 2017

Mother's Day

A Dictionary of English Folklore

Jacqueline Simpson,

Steve Roud

Mother's Day. 

Created almost single-handedly by Miss Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who persuaded Congress, in 1913, that the second Sunday in May would be dedicated to honouring mothers and motherhood. This was brought to Britain by American soldiers during the Second World War, and was later taken up by commercial interests, becoming extremely popular from the 1950s onwards. In Britain, however, the day chosen for Mother's Day was Mid-Lent Sunday, which had previously been the traditional day for Mothering Sunday, which it in effect replaced. On the modern Mother's Day, children (and husbands) send cards, chocolates, flowers, etc., to their mothers, and many families make the mother breakfast in bed, or take over the housework for the day.

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