Here's when Mother's Day 2020 is in the UK, and what the origins of the celebration are

It's just around the corner, but because you're likely a terrible son/daughter, Mother's Day probably hasn't even crossed your mind.

You're slightly forgiven on account of unlike other celebrations, Mother's Day doesn't have a set date and can fall on different dates each year, but the days of forgetting are over.

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We're here to answer all your questions: how did the whole thing start, and just why do we celebrate it?

And how did the religious Mothering Sunday go on to become the chocolate and flowers stress trip that is Mother's Day?

Here's all you need to know about it:

When is Mother's Day 2020?

The all important question.

This year Mother's Day falls on Sunday 22 March in the UK, with the date set by the celebration's Christian foundation as Mothering Sunday.

If you need any further help remembering when the big day falls, it always takes place on the fourth Sunday in the festival of Lent (though you might also need a reminder of when that is), exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday.

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How did Mother's Day begin?

Technically, in the UK we celebrate Mothering Sunday and not Mother's Day - more on that in a bit - and initially, the "mothering" aspect of the occasion had no connection to mothers in the way that it's celebrated today.

Its origins lie in the Middle Ages, when children who had left their families to work in domestic service were allowed to go to their home – or "mother" – church.

Further down the line, the date took on a further celebratory air, becoming a traditional occasion for the fasting rules of Lent to be relaxed, allowing revellers a long-awaited feast.

How did it become such a big deal?

For Mothering Sunday's transformation from church-related occasion to mum-honouring mega-holiday you seldom remember, blame America.

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The American festival of Mother's Day - which is held later in the year and has no religious connotations - was created in 1907 by Anna Jarvis, who held a memorial for her peace activist mother who treated wounded soldiers in the American Civil War.

Jarvis campaigned for a day to honour the role played by mothers following her own mum's death, and the idea gained such traction that by 1911 all US states observed the holiday.

In 1914, it had become so ubiquitous that President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday "as a public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country".

Mother's Day rapidly became a major commercial opportunity, with Hallmark leading the way in manufacturing cards by the early 1920s.

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It's not just you who begrudges the yearly pressure to stock up on last-minute cards and flowers for mum.

Jarvis deeply resented the materialistic side of the holiday she had created, and the commodification of sentimental symbols like the white carnation led her to withering criticism and even to being arrested for protesting against organisations selling Mother's Day merchandise.

The UK's Mothering Sunday is technically a different celebration to Mother's Day, but the success of the US holiday led to a resurgence in the traditional observance after interest had waned in the early 20th century.

By the 1950s, the practices of the Christian festival had broadly merged with the commercial aspects of Mother's Day, with the moniker gradually overtaking Mothering Sunday and the celebration becoming increasingly secular.

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