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Mothering Sunday in Britain

Mother's Day History


The Mother's Prayer. (Sculpture), By W.C. Marshall, R.A.

The Mother's Prayer. (Sculpture), By W.C. Marshall, R.A.

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Mothering Sunday was celebrated in Britain beginning in the 17th century
  • it was honored on the fourth Sunday in Lent
  • it began as a day when apprentices and servants could return home for the day to visit their mothers
  • they often brought a gift with them, often a "mothering cake" -- a kind of fruitcake or fruit-filled pastry known as simnels.
  • furmety, a sweetened boiled cereal dish, was often served at the family dinner during Mothering Sunday celebrations
  • by the 19th century, the holiday had almost completely died out
  • Mother's Day in Britain -- or Mothering Sunday -- came to be celebrated again after World War II, when American servicemen brought the custom and commercial enterprises used it as an occasion for sales, etc.

Mother's Day: What You Need to Know

© Jone Johnson Lewis

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