International Flower Delivery Blog

Mothering Sunday: Origins, Traditions, and New Way of Celebrating

On the fourth Sunday of Lent in the UK, Mother Mary, and now all mothers, are remembered on Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday is now celebrated much like Mother’s Day in the US, but the dates of the festivals differ. The history of Mothering Sunday in England and the reason for its celebration differ from that of Mother’s Day in the United States.

The similarities in how people celebrate Mothering Sunday in the UK and Mother’s Day in the US are numerous. People give flowers and gifts as they do on Mother’s Day to their mothers, showing them their love and gratitude. Mothering Sunday has always gone a bit deeper. This day shows appreciation of all mothers of the families, including maternal bonds, motherhood, and even how mothers impact society.

Today we will discuss the origins of Mothering Sunday, its traditions, and the modern way of celebrating this festival.

Children give flowers to their mums on Mothering Sunday


Versions of the Origin of Mothering Sunday

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.
Rudyard Kipling

In England, Mothering Sunday is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) in honor of Mary, the mother of Christ. Therefore the date varies every year. While the Mother’s Day festival in the US constantly falls on the second Sunday in the month of May. Because the festival falls midway between Shrove Tuesday and Good Friday in the middle of Lent, it has also been referred to as Mid-Lent Sunday.

In the UK, Mothering Sunday’s history dates back centuries. It goes back to the time of early Christians in England. They celebrated a Mothers festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary. Many scholars believe that the early church adopted the ceremonies honoring Cybele, the Roman mother goddess, to honor Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ. According to another tradition, Mother Church served as a substitute for Mother Goddess. And on this day, each person visits the church of their baptism.

Early on, there was a tradition in England that people would visit the nearest church to them every Sunday, called the “Daughter Church.” Children aged ten or older left their homes to work as apprentices or domestic servants: once a year, they could return to their homes and the mother church. They abandoned their employers to visit their hometown’s cathedral or mother church in the middle of Lent. The children brought their mothers flowers, gifts, and exclusive cakes. Consequently, these visits became a time for family reunions, and for that reason, it became Mothering Sunday.

People visit their hometown's cathedral


A Time for Gratitude

The celebration of Mothering Sunday today is a time for children to show their love and gratitude to their mothers by giving them presents, flowers, cards, and exclusive cakes. It is customary for people to dine out with their mothers, and those staying away call their mothers from a distance to express their appreciation and gratitude, sending them flowers and cakes.

Because the fasting guidelines for Lent are softened on Mothering Sunday, it is also known as Refreshment Sunday. Furmety, which consists of boiled wheat grains in sweet milk, sugared, and spiced, was sometimes given. Now Simnel cake is the classic dish served on Mothering Sunday.

People usually dine out with their mothers


Eleven Balls of Marzipan Without Judas

people dining out with their mothers is a special food item associated with Mothering Sunday. It is a rich fruit cake with a layer of almond paste on top and in the middle. The cake’s decor consists of eleven balls of marzipan icing on top representing the eleven disciples (Judas is not here). The cake was boiled in water, then baked. The Lenten fast dictated that the simnel cake be kept until Easter.

The word Simnel is said to have been derived from the Latin word “simila,” which means fine wheat flour mainly used for baking a cake. There is also an interesting legend associated with the use of the word Simnel. It says that once a man called Simon and his wife Nell argued over whether the Mothering Sunday cake should be baked or boiled. Ultimately, they did both. So the cake came to be named after both of them and was called “SIM-NELL.” And what of the options do you like? Write in the comments, please. We are interested in your opinion.

Mothering Sunday and Simnel cake


Her Majesty, And Lilies Of The Valley

And let us not forget about the most spring and universal gift, that as wordless heralds will convey all your thoughts and feelings to those you want to thank and warm with your care, even if you are not around – flowers.

So, which heralds are better to turn to for giving a message. For example, Queen Elizabeth II loves roses very much. But in spring, she prefers the lilies of the valley.

The lilies of the valley are especially dear to her heart. The bouquet she carried during her coronation featured these delicate flowers. And since then, they have evoked warm associations with Her Majesty.

It is curious that traditionally the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, gave her a special gift for her birthday – a bouquet of white flowers.

Lilies of the valley for Her Majesty


Suitable Heralds on Mothering Sunday

Think carefully about the blooms before you buy a bouquet. Earlier, we talked about the importance of the rules of the language of flowers. There is a special meaning behind each flower, and choosing the right one will help make a floral arrangement distinctive.

Gerbera daisies exude cheerfulness like no other flower. They are the best flower for mums who radiate happiness. Its head is like a sunflower, symbolizing purity, innocence, and beauty. They’re also available in an array of bright hues, meaning there is a color combination to suit all tastes and interior décor.

Tulips are for a light-hearted and easy-going mother. Their fresh, happy appearance represents coziness, comfort, and happiness, making them an ideal floral gift on Mothering Sunday.

Bluebell is a perfect option for calm mums on a Mothering Sunday bouquet. Their soft blue hues and pretty profiles represent humility and constancy.

If you’re unsure of what blooms to pick, choose roses in a lighter red or deep pink hue to showcase feelings of gratitude and appreciation.

However you decide to spoil your mom this Mothering Sunday, it is truly the thought that counts. Make sure your gifts include a heartfelt note, yes even if you call her, as a reminder of just how much she means to you.

Pink roses are your gratitude and appreciation on Mothering Sunday

Spoil your mums and wives, surprising the head lady in your life with luxury floral gifts:

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