MOTHERING SUNDAY

Mothering Sunday (1)

In the UK, Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, three weeks before Easter Sunday. As with the North American Mother’s Day (held in May), it is a day for honouring mothers with cards, presents, and/or a special meal (the most special aspect being that she doesn’t have to prepare it.)
Originally church-oriented, Mothering Sunday was a day for people to go back to the church they’d been christened in or attended as children, thus encouraging family reunions between mothers and offspring who had left home and were living somewhere else. Young servants working in large houses could usually count on having this day as a holiday and would visit their mothers, taking with them presents of food and clothing obtained from their employers. Eating sweets was usually frowned upon during Lenten fasting, but on Mothering Sunday, people were permitted to partake of a treat called Simnel cake, a light fruit cake with marzipan in the middle In keeping with the Lenten season, however, these cakes were decorated with eleven marzipan balls representative of Christ’s eleven disciples. Some had twelve, the additional one representing Jesus, not Judas.

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