t seems really strange that in the UK as we're all coping with the Beast from the East, we're about to celebrate the first calendar event of Spring. As the days become longer and slightly warmer, honest! Mother's Day is just around the corner.
Whilst I know we all associate the day with making breakfast in bed for our mums, are you feeling bad yet, to supplying copious amounts of chocolates and flowers this has not always been the case.
This year Mother's Day, also known as Mothering Sunday, falls on Sunday, March 11th. In chronological terms, the day in the UK always falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which is 3 weeks before Easter and usually in the second half of March or early April.
The day is a celebration of mother's and the maternal bond. Traditionally children give flowers, presents and cards to their mothers as well as other maternal figures such as grandmothers, stepmothers and yes, the mother-in-law!
In the UK the day has long been associated with mothers and families. For centuries it was the custom for people to return home to their families and their "mother" church. Those who did were said to have gone "a-mothering". The day often turned into a family reunion and a chance for children working away from home, usually young domestic servants, to spend time with their mothers. Many used to pick flowers from the grass verges along the way to leave in the church or hand to their mothers when they got home. Obviously no Sainsbury's, Tesco's or Waitrose available in those days!
*Other supermarkets are available.
Although celebrated in America and in the UK in a very modest way, the day took off in the UK properly in 1913 and there was pressure to get it to be included in the calendar. By 1938 Mothering Sunday had become a popular celebration with Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and various parishes across Britain. By the 1950's it was being celebrated throughout Britain and businesses realised the commercial opportunities, leading to the card-flower heavy version we celebrate today.
One of the main Mother's Day traditions is the making of Simnel Cakes. During Lent, many people did not eat sweet foods, rich foods or meat. However, the fast was lifted on Mothering Sunday and many people prepared a Simnel cake to eat with their family on this day. Obviously no chance of giving up alcohol for Lent in those days!
So, when you think of everything your Mother does for you throughout the year, there is one thing more she will be doing this year. And that's the taming the Beast from the East! So, when we all celebrate Mothering Sunday, whichever way we prefer, treat her to a pair of luxury slippers from us.
Thanks, Mum for all you do for us.