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What is Mothers Day and Mothering Sunday?

I love my Mum!

Images inspired by my recent trip to Africa – Our winter is baby season in the game reserves of South Africa

Recently the world celebrated International Woman’s Day.  I was hoping to put pen to paper before then but life took over and here I am, a little late but combining it with the upcoming commercialisation of Mothering Sunday now more commonly known as Mother’s Day.

The Mother is just one version of the female species, the giver of life.  She may also be a sister, a wife, a daughter, an auntie, a homemaker, a perfect student, a model employee, an ideal boss the list goes on.

I have now lived two thirds of my life and during this time I have come across some amazing inspirational women who have helped shape my life.  They come in the form of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, I am not taking anything away from the male species, just saving it for another blog.

Why do we celebrate Mother’s day:  As a child growing up I would save my 50p a day bus ticket and sweet money in the lead up to mother’s day, to be able to and buy the biggest card I could find to quietly place by her bed for her to wake up to and wait to see her reaction when she awoke.  The fun was in the anticipation, the planning, and imagining the outcome.

I find myself wondering, whose idea was it to mark this as a day of celebration and why this particular Sunday in March.  A little digging revealed its evolvement from Mothering Sunday which is:

The fourth Sunday of Lent, and three weeks before Easter Sunday. Lent being the 40 day fast beginning on Ash Wednesday (the day after Shrove Tuesday, most of us refer to Pancake Day) and ending on Good Friday

Pancake day was the food fest, traditionally a reason for families to come together and feast before the start of the Lent fast where Christians would give up sweets and rich foods.

Furthermore, during the 40 days of fasting for lent, on Mothering Sunday the fast would be relaxed to honour mothers – “Holy Cow” is what I say when things are not as they seem.  Interesting facts, Mothering Sunday was not traditionally to honour mothers as we do today, “Holy Cow” is what I hear many of you say.   It was not unusual for kids as young as age 10 to leave home to work as domestic servants.  Half way through Lent it was customary to be given a day off to return to their mother church ie the church they were baptised in.  Employers would often give hand me downs to the workers to take home as gifts, kids would also pick flowers while they walked home through the country lanes.  This naturally became a time for families to come together and became a reason to celebrate.

Thank goodness the world is becoming a better place, and kids certainly here in UK can be kids and not expected to be domestic servant, I write this while ordering my 18 year old son to bring me a toasted buttered Hot Cross Bun with a cup of Tea.

Tea, mmmmmm which will nicely lead to my next blog next month, as I proudly admire my certificate for completing Tea Champion course from the UK Tea Academy