Mother’s Day is all about taking the time to show our mum’s just how much they mean to us. Be it a bunch of flowers or just a day spent together. This popular calendar event is a day to let them know wonderful they really are. If you haven’t already picked up a card, you’d better get looking. Mother’s Day 2017 is not far away. Here’s everything you need to know about Mothering Sunday.
When is Mother’s Day 2017?
In the UK, Mothering Sunday changes every year. Mother’s Day 2017 falls on March 26. However, in the US and Europe the date always falls on the second Sunday in May, which is May 14 this year.
Why does the date change every year?
As the date is traditionally a Christian celebration, it links to Easter Sunday. Easter changes every year according to the lunar calendar and vernal equinox. Therefore, Mothering Sunday is always three weeks before Easter Sunday, or the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)
When did Mothering Sunday begin?
For centuries, it was custom for people to return home to their ‘mother’ church on Laetare Sunday. Those who did so were said to have gone ‘a-mothering.’ The day often turned into a family reunion and a chance for children working away from home, to spend time with their mothers. Many used to pick flowers from the verges to leave in church or hand to their mothers when they got home.
In Britain, Constance Smith, of Coddington, Nottinghamshire, founded the Mothering Sunday Movement when she said an article about American activist Anna Jarvis who was trying to reinstate the day in 1913. Smith wrote the booklet The Revival of Mothering Sunday in 1920. Interestingly, she never became a mother herself.
By 1938 Mothering Sunday had become a popular celebration with Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and various parishes across Britain, marking the day and communities adopting the imported traditions of American and Canadian soldiers during the war.
By the 1950s it was being celebrated throughout Britain and businesses realised the commercial opportunities.
Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day?
When you say Mother’s Day, you’re actually referring to the American version, although the term is widely used in the UK now too.
Mother’s Day traditions
Simnel cakes are associated with Mother’s Day. During Lent, traditionally people didn’t eat sweet food or meat. However, when the fast was lifted slightly on Mothering Sunday, many people prepared a Simnel cake to eat with their family. A simnel cake is a light fruit cake covered in a layer of marzipan, with another layer of marzipan baked into the middle of the cake. Decorated with 11 or 12 balls of marzipan, which represent the 11 disciples and sometimes Jesus. Legend says the cake was named after Lambert Simnel who worked in the kitchens of Henry VII sometime around the year 1500.
If you want to gift something unique for your mother on Mother’s Day 2017, why not have a go at making this traditional cake? Let’s hope she likes marzipan!