24 March 2011

Mother's Day

In the UK and Ireland, Mother's Day follows the old tradition of Mothering Sunday, which is normally celebrated in March or April.

The day is said to date right back the sixteenth century where people would go 'a-mothering', returning to their 'mother' church for a special service held on Laetare Sunday normally at a large local chruch or the nearest Cathedral. As time went on Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants had a day off to visit their mothers and other family members.

 Creamware Teapot with 'Miss Pitt' fishing. Staffordshire c.1765. £ 1,150. 
From Simon Westman, Grays Mews.

Simnal Cake & Recipe from www.dianasdesserts.com
The simnel cake was traditionally made for the day, consisting of fruit cake and marzipan. It was saved until Easter however to follow the rules of Lent.

‘I’ll to thee a Simnell bring
‘Gainst thou go’st a mothering,
So that, when she blesseth thee,
Half that blessing thou’lt give to me.’
Robert Herrick 1648

Victorian Gold Flower Earrings. c1880. £675. From Jo Elton & Ollie Gerrish.
In the later part of the twentieth century Mother's Day in Europe was less popluarly celebrated, with a short revival during World War II when soldiers serving abroad sent home their best wishes.  In the UK Mother's Day is celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent with this year falling on the 3rd April.


Vintage Flower Earrings. From Linda Bee in Grays Mews.
Grays wishes everyone a very happy Mother's Day!

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