In South Africa we traditionally celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. This year the holiday falls on the 10th of May.
Mother's Day has an origin steeped in mysticism, spirituality and even politics. Only recently has the day been set aside to celebrate our actual mothers.
In ancient times the Egyptians held a festival in honour of Isis who was regarded as the archetypal wife and mother and also as Mother of the Pharoahs.
The British and some other Commonwealth Countries celebrate Mothering Sunday or Rose Sunday on the fourth Sunday in Lent.
During the 16th century families would return to their 'mother church' on the fourth Sunday of Lent for a celebration. People who followed this practice was said to have gone 'a-mothering'.
Centuries later the Americans started their tradition of Mother's Day. As with the centuries old celebrations, this event did not start as a tribute to Mothers.
In 1870 Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a protest against the American Civil War. She was influenced by the work of Ann Jarvis who in 1858 attempted to get both sides in the Civil War to agree to improve sanitation. Ann Jarvis had crusaded for a Mother's Working Day.
After she died, her daughter Anna Jarvis petitioned her mother's church for a day to be set aside to memorialise women. The first Mother's Day was celebrated in West Virginia, USA on the 10th of March 1908.
Anna Jarvis spent most of the rest of her life fighting the commercialisation of Mother's Day, but by then the celebration had spread throughout the US and the world.
These days Mother's Day can be celebrated in as small or big a way as families choose, as long as mothers are celebrated.