Mothering Sunday ...
... is the British equivalent of Mother’s Day as celebrated by other countries.
It is an opportunity to show love and respect for your mother, and give a card or small gift.
In Britain, Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Lent is the period of 40 days of abstinence and fasting leading up to Easter, and so is tied in with the Christian faith. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated on that date since at least the 16th Century . It was the one day in Lent when the fasting rules were relaxed in memory of the story in the Christian Bible of Christ feeding the five thousand with two loaves and five fishes.
Young British girls and boys 'in service' (maids and servants) were only allowed one day to visit their family each year. This was usually on Mothering Sunday. Often the housekeeper or cook in the house where they worked 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.
Some people suggest that the celebration could have been adopted from the Roman Goddess of the Spring, Cybele, the Mother goddess, and as Christianity spread it was adopted by Christians.
There is also a connection with the Mother Church, and about 400years ago it was the custom to visit the nearest big church on that date, the one that you were baptised in.
Increasingly, the phrase Mothers Day is taking over from the more traditional Mothering Sunday, and a number of countries, including the US celebrate Mother’s Day in mid May.
Wherever you are, don’t forget to make YOUR mum feel special on Mothering Sunday, and thank her for being your MUM.