At Dukes we’ve been having a look at some of the top things to do to treat your Mother in and around Bath on Mother’s Day, and in the process we thought we’d have also have a look at the history of the holiday. Here’s what we found.
Surprisingly Mother’s Day originally didn’t have all that much to do with Mothers and had a lot more to do with religion. Traditionally held in the UK on the fourth Sunday of Lent it began in the sixteenth century. Mothering Sunday was when people would return to the main cathedral or church in their area, also known as their “mother church” - hence Mother’s Day or going “a-mothering”, for a special service of worship. It was also the day that younger servants were given off for visiting their mothers and families. On the way they would often pick flowers to decorate the church or to present to their mother as a gift.
Over time other gifts began to be given and the day became more about mothers and less about worship. The form we know today, with its emphasis on mothers over religion, came about thanks to the American Anna Jarvis. She first celebrated Mother’s Day in 1908 and, after much campaigning on her part, in 1914 Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May a national holiday in the U.S. The holiday was then adopted in countries across the world, including the UK who chose to merge Mothering Sunday with Mother’s Day as Mothering Sunday was already partly linked to the celebration of mothers. However the event didn’t really take off until the end of the 1940s when the influence of American soldiers posted here during the Second World War saw it’s popularity increase (thanks also in part to canny commercial traders who saw its massive potential for profit).
Today many see Mother’s Day as a day when a card is sent and a bunch of flowers ordered and that’s about it. But Mother’s Day should be more than remembering to send a token gift; it should be about spending time together doing things as a family and showing how your mum how much you care and appreciate her. So our recommendation is this: take some time and spend it with your Mum pampering yourselves on a luxury weekend in Bath.
Our top things to do are a free guided stroll led by the head gardener around the beautiful Prior Park, a visit to the Thermae Spa for a facial and a massage, afternoon tea in the famous Pump Rooms, and then of course some time for shopping and browsing the wealth of boutiques that Bath’s back streets have to offer.
Whatever it is that you choose to do the main thing is that you both do it together and you have a good time. At Dukes we are more than happy to make reservations and recommendations for you and we hope that we can welcome you to the city soon and help you to discover a few of its hidden gems. Treating yourself and your Mum to a weekend break and spending Mother’s Day in Bath is a wonderful way to show her how much she means to you.