Mothering Sunday in the UK is the equivalent of Mother’s Day in many other countries.
Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the 16th century.
It has been a day for giving thanks for all the things our mothers do for us and is always the fourth Sunday of Lent.
In the UK we celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday in Lent; it is celebrated on many different days around the world.
Most countries use the US date of the second Sunday in May while others choose 8 March which is International Women’s Day.
In recent years Mothering Sunday has in Great Britain taken on the name and character of the US Mothers' Day. The original meaning of Mothering Sunday in England has been largely lost. Mothers Day in America is in May and does not change months from year to year like Mothering Sunday does in England.
Celebrating Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom
The equivalent of Mother’s Day in many other countries is Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom. This is the most special day for celebrating the life and love which mothers give to their children. Mothers in the United Kingdom should celebrate a very special occasion as they are all under the same royal queen, Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
When is Mothering Sunday?
The date of Mothering Sunday always changes since it is relative to other holidays on the calendar of the United Kingdom. More specifically, Mothering Sunday is always held on the 4th Sunday of the Lent season. This corresponds with Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom being precisely three weeks before Easter Sunday. This places the date of Mothering Sunday in the UK around the middle of March or so.
In 2012, Mothering Sunday is on 18 March 2012. This is a nice placement as it is just a few months before the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II. In addition to the queen’s birthday, June 2012 will also hold the Diamond Jubilee of the queen, which marks the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Second over the UK and the Territories. This will be a truly special Mothering Sunday for all mothers in the UK as the mother of mothers celebrates her 86th birthday as well.
Celebrations in the United Kingdom
Many families in the UK celebrate the holiday with traditional parties and events. One of these includes the baking and service of special cakes given to mothers. In order to accommodate this, children often wake up early on the morning of Mothering Sunday in order to have enough time to prepare for the baking and preparation of the cake in order to make it as fresh as possible.
While some families really enjoy keeping the celebration classic like this, others have modernised it to the point of it being similar to other holidays on the UK calendar. This means that children may be able to take their mothers out to dinner or lunch as part of the celebrations. In addition, shopping together has become a fun activity for many mothers to do with their children. Part of the modernization of Mothering Day has caused it to greatly resemble the day of Mother's Day which is celebrated in the United States.
Give your mother lots of kisses this mothering sunday - She will love it!
Diverse History and Eventual Commercialisation of
Almost everyone celebrates Mothering Sunday in the UK, but the history of the holiday comes from other places and times. There is a very interesting history of Mothering Sunday in the UK. Unlike Mother’s Day in the United States, Mothering Sunday started a long time ago. While Mother’s Day in the United States started with Anna Jarvis, Mothering Sunday in the UK had religious traditions.
One train of thought is that the the Roman Catholic religion which had a festival in honour of the goddess of mothering started to mark this special day as being in the middle of March, the same time frame in which it falls in modern times. However, as much of Europe converted to Christianity, the holiday stuck. While the day remained the same, it was adopted into the religious calendar as well. Paired with Lent, Mothering Sunday became very closely related with the Mother Mary, one of the strongest symbols of the Catholic faith.
A second train of thought was that Mothering Sunday was originally when the Church thought about the blessed virgin Mary - the feast of the Annunciation frequently falls around the time of Mothering Sunday; and it also encouraged people to see their parish church as their "mother" church. It also became a time when people in domestic service were able to go home to see their family: this tended to be around the fourth Sunday of Lent because that was when (a) the weather was likely to be more clement and thus (b) roads and footpaths would be in a usable condition - don't forget, people would be having to WALK so wet and cold would not be good.
Further into the 16th century, families began to take their mothers to service on this Sunday. Typically this was held at a local church or cathedral; however, some families chose to celebrate the holiday at home.
While this day had a strong following for centuries, it started to drop in popularity until the Second World War when American and Canadian soldiers brought their love for their mothers to the European Theatre of WWII. This caused the British troops to pick it up again, and thus Mothering Sunday became a staple of the UK calendar again.
For all those who bring their mothers flowers this Mothering Sunday, a great tradition of honouring mothers is continued. While some continue the traditions of baking special cakes, others will bring more modernized methods of celebrating the holidays with them. In both cases, mothers are sure to be pleased at the honour, love and respect they get in this special day.
While Mothering Sunday is the day that people in the United Kingdom celebrate their mothers, it can also be referred to as Mother’s Day, the Sunday of Roses, the Sunday of Refreshments, and Simnel Sunday. The name of Simnel most likely came from the act of baking and serving Simnel cakes which were used as a symbol to celebrate the holidays of Lent. A Simnel cake is a rich cake with a layer of marzipan in the middle and, by tradition, decorated with small balls of either marzipan or, very occasionally, crystalised fruit, around the top. The small balls were meant to signify eggs, which are a traditional symbol of re-generation or re-birth in many religions - judaeo-christian amongst them; the use of marzipan is to give a little relief or refreshment in what is roughly the middle of Lent.
A Simnel cake is a fruit cake covered and filled with marzipan. The cake is made with
flour, sugar, butter, eggs, spices, dried fruits, zest, and candied peel..
For those who are not aware, Lent holidays are those on which people give up some vice and also celebrate the blessing of the presence of something edifying. For Simnel Sunday as it was once called, the people who celebrated Mothering Sunday got together to issue vows of love and dedication to their mothers.
Rose Sunday is also a name given to Mothering Sunday in the UK due to the Catholic faith, which put special meaning on certain types of roses. A few other more obscure titles given to Mothering Sunday involved the giving of bread to mothers or to those who gave their lives to the service of the church.
Further information on religion shows that in historic times, those who celebrated Mothering Sunday attended church together. During this time at church, certain passages would traditionally be read by those in charge of the service. The most common one of these is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, verses 5 through 14. This passage outlines the feeding of the five thousand from the loaves and fishes which Jesus Christ blessed. As can be seen, it is difficult to observe any certain holiday in the UK without noting its traditional roots in religion.
Another title for the fourth sunday in Lent is REFRESHMENT SUNDAY. For the first 1500+ years of Christianity fasting meant that people ate very little and what they did eat was very plain: no meat, no fish, no eggs or cheese, only water or small beer to drink (young children might have milk): and in Lent no sweet things would be on the menu either. When you add into the equation that Lent was at the end of winter - and at a time when food preservation was limited - and the diet was meagre in the extreme. Making a rich CAKE was a way of giving a treat - symbolising not only the re-birth that is seen in the resurrection but also the coming again of fresh produce once the first crops have had a chance to grow.
Dates that Mothering Sunday fall in the next few years...
2014 Mothering Sunday - Sunday, March 30, 2014
2015 Mothering Sunday - Sunday, March 15, 2015
2016 Mothering Sunday - Sunday, March 06, 2016
2017 Mothering Sunday - Sunday, March 26, 2017
2018 Mothering Sunday - Sunday, March 11, 2018
2019 Mothering Sunday - Sunday, March 31, 2019