Where did the tradition of honouring our mothers come from?

Mother’s Day- How and Where the idea came from….

Mother’s Day as we all know, is a day to take time to honour one’s own mother. Here, in Australia is takes place on the second Sunday of May each year, but its roots stem from the United States where celebrations started taking place during the 20th Century.

The American holiday was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia. She began her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognised holiday in the United States in 1905, after her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mission was simple: to honor her mother by continuing the work she had started and to set aside a day to honor mothers. She believed mothers were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”, and let’s face it, she was on to something!

This celebration then spread throughout the world, with the date altered to fit with traditions/celebrations within each country already related to mothering or motherhood. Mothering Day in the UK for example, was a holiday originally celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians and falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Initially this holiday saw parishioners return to their ‘Mother Church’- the largest church in the local area, or more often, the closest Cathedral. Servants then began being given the day off to attend their mother church also, and as such, it became a special family day, as general work hours often prevented family spending time all together. Children would often gather flowers along the way to place within the church, and, over time they began to give these flowers to their mothers. Eventually this religious day became the secular Mothering Day.

Mother’s Day in Australia takes place in the Autumn months when Chrysanthemums are readily available. The significance of the humble chrysanthemum is not know for sure, however many believe it was simply adopted as the flower of the day due to its name containing the colloquial term of endearment for Mother- mum. Traditionally chrysanthemums were used in bunches to give to your mother, and today with vast importation as well as hybridisation we have a wide variety of different Chrysanthemums that are now used to create spectacular fresh flower arrangements!

  • POMPON – spray type of chrysanthemum; each stem has several flowers.
Pom Pom Chrysanthemums Image: Whole Blossoms


  • CUSHION POMPON – flower is of medium length petals without button in the centre.
Image: Amazon



  • DAISY POMPON – flower with button in the centre.
Daisy Pom Pom Chrysanthemums Image: Danisa Flowers


  • NOVELTY POMPON – any chrysanthemum besides white, yellow, pink, and bronze cushions, any novelty colours. All novelty shapes.
Novelty Chrysanthemums Image: Sierra Flower Finder


  • SPIDER POMPON: flower with very long outer petals without button in the centre.
Spider Pom Poms Image: Amazon


  • DISBUD (one single large flower per stem produced by removing all side buds when plant was young):
Award winning Disbud Chrysanthemum being shown. Image: Chrysanthemums in Aberdeen


  • FUJI – synonym of spider, except it is not a spray flower.
Fuji Chrysanthemums are the same as the spider pom poms, although are not spray chrysanthemums. Image: Amazon

So, what do you think of tradition?  Something to stick with, or time to turn it up on it’s head?

Whether you celebrate with her on the day for brunch, send a card in the mail, have chrysanthemums or other fresh flowers delivered, I’m sure Mum will appreciate being remembered this Mother’s Day. However big or small the gesture, remember, a mother is someone who will love you unconditionally, till her last breath……. and really, what can you possibly do to match that?

I suppose we can spend our life trying…..

Fwf x


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