The origins of Mother’s Day and honoring Mothers began with some of the earliest civilizations of man. One of the earliest celebrations comes from the time of the ancient Greeks. Rhea was the mother of Zeus, the father of the Greek gods. The ancient Greeks paid tribute to her every spring in a festival known as Kronia. Ancient Rome celebrated a festival to Cybele their mother goddess.
In later times when Christianity began to rise in popularity a Mother’s Day like celebration came into being. the fourth Sunday in Lent became a day to honor the Virgin Mother. In the 1600’s in England this celebration expanded into Mothering Sunday. The Virgin Mary was celebrated as your own mother. Children gave flowers or other small gifts to their mothers. In some places servants or workman were given temporary leave to go visit their own mothers. This lasted until the 19th Century when it slowly started to fade away.
When American GI’s were fighting overseas in World War II the holiday of Mothering Sunday became popular again. After the war the gift giving crossed back over to the United States, and against the wishes of Anna Jarvis founder of the American Mother’s Day, it became a much more commercial event.