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HAPPY MOTHERING SUNDAY
Staff Reporter / 2010-03-06 12:19:18
Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the 16th century. This year it falls on March 14th. Mother’s Day is celebrated in Spain on the first Sunday in May, so British Mums in Spain may manage to have two days to celebrate.
No one is absolutely certain exactly how the idea of Mothering Sunday began in the UK. However, it is known that on this day, about four hundred years ago, people made a point of visiting their nearest big church (the Mother Church), usually a cathedral. People who visited their mother church would say they had gone "a mothering."
Young British girls and boys 'in service', that is maids and servants, (it was quite common in those days for children to leave home for work once they were ten years old), were only allowed one day to visit their family each year. This was usually Mothering Sunday.
Often the housekeeper or cook would allow the maids to bake a cake to take home for their mother. Sometimes a gift of eggs; or flowers from the garden (or hothouse) was allowed. Flowers were traditional, as the young girls and boys would have to walk home to their village, and could gather them on their way home through the meadows.
Mothering Sunday is also sometimes known as Simnel Sunday because of the tradition of baking Simnel cakes. The Simnel cake is a fruit cake. A flat layer of marzipan (sugar almond paste) is placed on top of and decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ.
Today it is a day when children give presents, flowers, and home-made cards to their mothers. And make them feel special.