Mother's Day in Ireland

When is Mother's Day in Ireland?

Mother's Day in Ireland is on March 19, 2023. It falls on Sunday.

How many days until Mother's Day in Ireland?

There are 297 Days left until Mother's Day in Ireland.

Is Mother's Day a public holiday in Ireland?

Mother’s Day or also known by the Irish as ‘Mothering Sunday’, is a celebration held in Ireland every fourth Sunday of the Lent season and three weeks prior to the occurrence of Easter Sunday. Its date of celebration keeps on changing every year since its observance is dependent with the Easter’s celebration as well. This is the reason why Mother’s Day is a moveable occasion in Ireland unlike with the US and many other countries which has a fixed date for its celebration (US and most of the countries around the globe celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May every year).

Although the occasion is observed throughout Ireland, the day was not designated to become a public holiday. Thus, companies, establishments, and the business industry in general, should continue to operate as usual.

Mother's Day Origin

Mother’s Day is a celebration widely observed by many countries around the globe. Although Ireland celebrates this day with the same practices as how most of the countries celebrate it, its origin is entirely different from that of the US and other countries. For the Irish people, the origin of Mother’s Day can be traced back in the 16th century. In this era, it was common for many poor Irish families to send their capable children to work as helpers or servants to the wealthy people. During the Lent season, these children are usually given a day off from work and are sent home to their respective hometowns to attend the traditional church mass for the said season. It had been a part of the Irish tradition to attend church services in their mother church during Lent.

'Mother Church' is how they call the church where they received baptism. Hence, this is why the children are given the day off so that they can attend church services at their mother church, together with their families. Once mass is over, this is usually followed by children giving flowers to their mothers or sometimes a gift is even presented. The gifts are usually from the children’s employers who are kind enough to give pre-owned clothes or any other items to the children so they can also give it to their mothers as a present on this day. This practice has been observed for quite some time and later, as tradition evolved, the day become a special day to honor mothers. The old practice has paved the way for the establishment of Mother’s Day in the country.

For the next hundreds of years, Ireland has celebrated Mother’s Day or commonly known by the Irish people as ‘Mothering Sunday’, until it faded out in the late 18th century. Nevertheless, following the events of the Second World War (1939-1945), Mother’s Day was brought to life again with the influence of the American people (since US has been celebrating Mother's Day since 1914). The Irish have once again started celebrating the occasion around the 1950s. However, although they were influenced to celebrate Mother’s Day again, they haven’t followed the American’s date of celebration (which is every second Monday of May), instead, they have reverted back to the date they have originally used centuries ago (every fourth Sunday of the Lent season). Since then, the country has been observing the occasion every year up until the current times.

Mother's Day Traditions in Ireland

Mother’s Day is one of the most popular celebrations observed in the global society. This is the day when one has the chance to make his/her mother feel special, loved, and appreciated. Mothers are those who knows you best, who guides your path, who always got your back, and who serves as the light in the family. In Ireland, though the occasion is not a holiday, it is still celebrated throughout the country, especially since it is held on a Sunday.

A Well-Deserved Treat to mothers

Many of the old practices are actually still being observed at present every time the occasion is celebrated. One of those is the popular breakfast on bed. Mothers are typically the ones always seen at the kitchen preparing meals for the whole family, however, on Mother’s Day, many of the Irish families adhere to the tradition of serving breakfast to their mothers in bed to celebrate the occasion. A breakfast of bread, eggs, butter, bacon, fried tomato, white pudding, and coffee/tea becomes even more special when added with the happy faces of the dads and the children greeting their moms “Lá na Máithreacha Sona duit” early in the morning. 'Lá na Máithreacha Sona duit' is the Irish translation of Happy Mother’s Day greetings in English. A breakfast in bed is definitely a good way to start the celebration for Mother’s Day.

Giving Gifts to Mothers (Mother Figures)

The Irish, like the rest of the world, also celebrates Mother’s Day by doing the usual things when this occasion occurs. Bringing/sending of flowers to one’s mother is typical. The flower shops in the country is expected to get a boost in their sales on this day. Same goes with the cake and chocolate shops as well. Flowers, chocolates, and cakes are the most conventional gifts given on Mother’s Day. Clothing, shoes, and jewelries, are also common gifts given on this day. Many others (especially the children) would also write some greeting cards to show their love and appreciation to the queen of the family. In addition, taking over the household chores (e.g. cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, doing laundry, feeding pets if there’s any, and many others) is also done by several Irish fathers and children on this day to give the mothers a break. The day is basically dedicated for the relaxation and enjoyment of the mothers.

Attending Services at their Mother Church

Attending church services during Mother’s Day is also customary for the Irish. Although it’s not everybody who observes this practice, there are still some families who would attend mass as part of the celebration. However, unlike with the old tradition wherein they would attend these church services in their mother church (the church where they received baptism), at present, several of them attend these church services only in their usual churches.

Family Reunions and Events

Mother’s Day is also one of those occasions where faraway families tend to come together to have a celebration. The day is made special not just to mothers alone, but to grandmothers, mothers-in-law, and stepmothers as well. Small parties and family gatherings are typically held among Irish families and relatives during its observance. And while many of the Irish families celebrate it with delicious home-cooked meals (there is no traditional food to be eaten on this day, however, it is expected for many Irish families to serve special dishes as a special treat for their mothers), there are several others who choose to celebrate Mother’s Day in fancy restaurants instead. Considering how tough the job of being a mom is, a special treat to a fine dining restaurant is also something many Irish families tend to do to celebrate the occasion. They would even let their mothers choose a restaurant of her choice to celebrate the day. After a celebratory meal, this is usually followed by a treat to the cinema. A fancy meal added with a great movie with the whole family is one of the best ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. Hence, many of the Irish families choose to do this to celebrate it. After a special meal/movie, there are also a number of mothers who choose this day to meet up with their old friends and colleagues. They take advantage of the special day to catch up with old friends over a cup of coffee/tea.

Dates of Observance for Mother's Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 March 19 Sunday Mother's Day
2024 March 10 Sunday Mother's Day
2025 March 30 Sunday Mother's Day
2026 March 15 Sunday Mother's Day
2027 March 07 Sunday Mother's Day
2028 March 26 Sunday Mother's Day
Upcoming Ireland Holidays
Holiday Date
First Monday in June June 06, 2022
First Monday in August August 01, 2022
October Bank Holiday October 24, 2022