Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mothering Sunday

Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and although it is used as a Mother's Day in the UK it's roots are actually quite different.

Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent and traditionally it was a day when anyone working away from home, like domestic servants, was allowed time off to return home to celebrate Lent at their home church - their mother church.

It was quite common for domestic servants and apprentices to start working from the age of 10. So those returning home for Mothering Sunday were often children; children who were probably even more happy to have the day off to go see their actual mothers. So it became traditional to take little gifts home, like bunches of spring flowers, for their mothers.

And so Mothering Sunday became a day to go visit your mum and take her flowers. ;-)

The traditional food for Mothering Sunday is Simnel cake.

A fruit cake with a layer of marzipan baked inside it as well as a topping of marzipan. Years back it would also have been decorated with candied violets.* You can find how to make candied violets here.

*Note - violets and rose petals are edible and can be candied, but not all flowers are. Most bulb plants are poisonous, so do check before trying to candy any pretty flower!


  1. Interesting...I didn't know this. In Indo Mother's Day is Dec 22nd, but so far there's still no Father's Day ha ha...

  2. In South Africa it was the same as America. Decembner 22? Gosh. Interesting how different it is in different countries!



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