Lithuania, like other countries around the world, sets aside one day each year to honour mothers. However, in Lithuania it is an official public holiday celebrated on the first Sunday in May.
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Mothers are revered in Lithuanian society, looked upon to be a model to her children. And grandmothers in Lithuania are looked upon as strong, knowledgeable and steeped in tradition.
Traditions for celebrating Mother’s Day vary around the world. In Lithuania, mothers are honoured with a cake resembling a bouquet of flowers. This is normally followed by a large family meal.
Celebrations of mothers and motherhood existed as far back as ancient Rome and Greece who held festivals to honour mother goddesses. In Rome, it was a three-day festival, known as Hilaria, dedicated to their mother goddess, Cybele while in Greece an annual spring festival celebrated Rhea, the wife of Cronus and the mother of many Greek deities.
In the United Kingdom, Mothering Sunday, which fell on the fourth Sunday of Lent, was seen as a day when faithful followers would return to their mother church, or the main church closest to their home in order to honour the Virgin Mary as well as their own mother. Children brought gifts, flowers and a special cake known as simmel.