Here in the United Kingdom we celebrate Mothering Sunday, despite all the retails giants saying otherwise in their advertising. Mothers Day is what is celebrated in the United States of America.
Mothering Sunday is on a different date every year, its always celebrated on the 4th of Lent, so it moves depending on when Easter is, where as Mothers Day is always the 2nd Sunday of May.
Centuries ago it was the day that people returned to their ‘mother’ parish, the main Church or Cathedral in their area. This meant a lot of children, especially daughters that had left the family home to work in service, made the journey home. Over the years it became a day for a family reunion, and a lot of people who worked in service were given the day off to make the journey.
Mothering Sunday also became known as Refreshment Sunday, as it was in the middle Sunday of Lent, and stories can be found in both the New and Old Testament linking this day to food, meaning over the years as the family reunion tradition grew so the fasting rules of lent were relaxed. Its like taking a break halfway through lent, having a huge feast to see you through till Easter.
How have I never heard of this before? I have given something up for Lent most years since I was a child, imagine how much easier it is knowing you can take a time out at half time? thats so going to be my plan going forward!
Over time these old traditions starting dying out and Mothering Sunday became a thing of the past until, inspired by Anna Jarvis’ campaign in America, Constance Penswick Smith revived it, but this time with the focus being on Mum rather than the Mother Church.
This is when the day started becoming commercialised. I know days like Mothering Sunday ( or Mothers Day), and Valentines Day can be the cause of a number of heated debates.
A lot of people think its just a day given so much hype by retailers so they can make much more money, as the thought is that we should show our Mother love all year around and not just on one day.
But the other train of thought is that on your birthday we celebrate you, despite loving you all year around, so why cant we love our Mothers all year around and just take this chance, once a year to celebrate our Mums, Mams and Mothers, to stop and acknowledge the influence our Mothers have over us, our lives and society. Its a day we stand and salute all Mums, but in no way, shape of form does it mean we love them any less the other 365 days of the year.
Did you know the traditional cake for Mothering Sunday is Simnel cake?
I hear you, yes, Simnel Cake is mostly associated with Easter.
Check the link out for a recipe I found if you fancy trying your hand at it. This one is Gluten Free and Vegan Friendly.
Just remember to only put 11 balls of marzipan on the top though! Each ball represents one of the disciples. ( 12 balls were only put on in the most forgiving of Christian households, normally Judas was left out)
I don’t know about you but I am always fascinated by the stories and legends behind cakes, and this one is no different.
The story goes that Simon and Nell were in their kitchen, making a fruit cake and couldnt agreee whether to boil or bake this fruit cake, so they decide to do both, and it became know as a Sim-Nel cake!!
Wether it’s true or not it will be a great little story to tell at the dinner table on Sunday!