Mothering Sunday has been celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent since the early church. Centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their home or 'mother' church once a year, which inevitably became an occasion for family reunions. It was this that led to the tradition of children, particularly those working as domestic servants or apprentices away from home, being given the day off to visit and take gifts to their mothers. Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday, because the fasting rules for Lent were relaxed on that day. A food item especially associated with the day is simnel cake: a rich fruit cake with almond paste on top and in the middle. For strict adherers to the Lenten fast, the cake had to keep until Easter Day, which is when it is now more commonly found on our tea tables.
However like many old festivals Mothering Sunday has become very commercial and its origin is forgotten by many. Sadly families often live too far away these days to visit. Of course I see my mother everyday as she lives with us, I had a long chat with Beccy this morning which was lovely, she sent me a pretty card she'd painted herself and my youngest grandson Ben was so sweet he also sent me a 'mothers day' painting.
I think in America Mother's Day has been celebrated on the second Sunday in May since 1914 (if I'm wrong please let me know) but for all those who celebrate today I hope you had a really happy day.