ExplainersSierra Leone

How many Mother’s Days do we have in one calendar year?

Mother’s Day is amongst the most celebrated global events  and it is a day set aside to celebrate and honor mothers in diverse communities and families as well as motherhood, maternal bond and the influence of mothers in society. Even when we can argue that we celebrate our mothers daily, yet an entire day is dedicated justifiably  to mothers around the world. With the annual alarm of confusion raised by many like this tweet questioning how many mother’s days are there in one calendar year, DUBAWA decided to explain the reasons for the bemusement with regards to this  event. .

A brief historical overview of how the whole idea of Mother’s Day came about can be traced to the history of ancient Greeks and Romans  and how they celebrated festivals in honor of mother goddess Rhen & Cybele respectively. However , the early Christian festival, otherwise known as “Mothering Sunday, ” makes a clear case for a precedent for the modern Mother’s Day celebration. “The Mothering Sunday celebration fell on fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally viewed as a time the faithful would return to their “Mother Church,” the main church in the vicinity of their home for a special service.“

This Mothering Sunday tradition later merged with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s. Mothers’ day celebrations originated in the United States around the 19th century with groups like ‘The Mother’s day work club,” Mother’s Friendship day to Mother’s Peace day, all evolving with events like the civil war.  These women groups and unions  agitated for a peaceful world during the heightened times of the American Civil War. 

American woman Anna Jarvis is credited with turning mother’s day into a national holiday in the United States. With the death of her mom, Anna perceived Mother’s day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Anna, who was unmarried and childless throughout her life, advocated for the day to be added to the national calendar, citing that American holidays were biased towards male achievements. She raised her voice on the issue through newspapers with writings targeting politicians and calling for a day to honor motherhood.

With some towns and churches adopting Mother’s Day as national holidays, Anna had already formed the International Mother’s Day Association to fast track her cause. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure that formally established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s day.

Where lies the misconception?

Over the years, there have been misconceptions over the number of Mother’s Day events in one year. This can possibly be associated with the fact that International Women’s Day is celebrated in the month of March, barely eight weeks before the widely recognized International Mother’s Day. Here is what you should know about the  misconception about Mother’s Day.

Yes, there are different versions of mother’s day celebrations worldwide with varying traditions. The second Sunday in May is celebrated as Mother’s Day in more than 50 countries around the world. A few other exceptions are with countries like Mexico and many parts of Latin America where it is celebrated on 10th  May yearly. Thailand, for instance, always celebrates mother’s day in August on the birthday of their current Queen. Some countries have different dates for mother’s day with some informed by religion, history or tradition, as can be found in this mother’s day article.

However, the second Sunday in May celebration  is widely recognized around the world in countries including Sierra Leone as the day to honour mothers across the world. 


It should, however, be noted that Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day  are two separate and distinct   days of celebrating women, but one of them is exclusively dedicated to honor one category of women (mothers) and the other for all women. International Women’s day should not be confused with the widely accepted International Mother’s day which is annually celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is, however, important to state that a few European countries celebrate Mother’s day on  March 8, which coincides with Women’s Day.

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