Mothering Sunday in the UK is the equivalent to Mother's Day in other countries. The early Christians in England celebrated the Mother's festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter) to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. Interestingly, later on a religious order stretched the holiday to include all mothers, and named it as the Mothering Sunday. People working out of their homes were expected to return to the "mother" church (the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm). It also became an occasion for family reunions. Besides attending church services in honor of the Virgin Mary, children (particularly those working as domestic servants, or as trainees, being given the day off to visit their mother and family) used to come back home with gifts, flowers, and unique Mothering Day cakes and spend the day with their mothers. Today, the Mother's Day is a day when children give presents, flowers, and homemade cards to their mothers to express their love.
Mother's Day History
Mothering Sunday is not a fixed day because it is always the middle Sunday in Lent, which lasts from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter Sunday. So this means that Mother's Day in the UK will fall on different dates each year and sometimes even fall in different months. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the 16th century. Mothering Sunday was also known as 'Refreshment Sunday', 'Pudding Pie Sunday' (in Surrey, England) or 'Mid-Lent Sunday'. It was a day in Lent when the fasting rules were relaxed, in honor of the 'Feeding of the Five Thousand', a story in the Christian Bible. Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday is now a day to honor mothers and other motherly figures in your lifelike grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law. Many people make a special effort to visit their mothers on this day. They take cards and gifts to her and treat her to brunch, lunch or high tea in a cafe, restaurant or hotel. People who cannot visit their mother usually send gifts or cards. Simnel Cake is a special food item connected with Mothering Sunday. A Simnel cake is made with rich fruits layered with almond paste on top and also in the middle. The cake is made with 11 balls of marzipan (a confection made of ground almonds or almond paste, egg whites and sugar, often molded into decorative shapes) icing on top representing the 11 disciples (Judas is not included). The cake is double boiled in the oven to bake it. The Lenten fast dictated that the Simnel cake be kept until Easter. Over the time, the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebrations. People began honoring their mothers as well as the church. During this time, many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy.
Traditionally, Mothering Sunday was a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and family. Today Mothering Sunday is a day when children give flowers and cards to their mothers. Mothering Sunday was originally a time when people returned to the church, in which they were baptized or where they attended services when they were children. This meant that families were reunited as adults returned to the towns and villages where they grew up. In time, it became customary for young people who were working as servants in large houses, to be given a holiday on Mothering Sunday.
This custom is still followed as children visit their own mother and often take a gift of food or handmade crafts and gifts for their moms. This tradition turned into a modern holiday, on which people still visit and take gifts to their mothers. Make this Mother's Day extra special for her with all her favorite things.
The history of Mother's Day is full of numerous traditions. In England, Mother's Day is celebrated as the Mothering Sunday.