In Britan on the fourth Sunday of Lent Mothering Sunday is celebrated, also sometimes known as Simnel Sunday, Refreshment Sunday or Mid-Lent Sunday.  Origanally it was the one Sunday that all the parishiners would go to a larger church or cathediral, Mother Church.  This appears to have started in the 1600’s though some information that I found suggests that it started earlier and may have had something to do with The Virgian Mary or maybe even Mother Earth.  It seems clear though that in the 1600’s servents would be given one day off a year to return home to visit both their home church as well as there mother.  Those who did this where said to have gone “A Mothering”.The reason this day is also known as Simnel Sunday is due to that being a traditional cake served on this day.  The rules of Lent where relaxed, which alowed this to be done also pointing to the reference of this day as Refreshment Sunday.  It was very common for the subjects of the sermons to be about food, inparticular the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Today, with the church becoming less a center of ones life, people see this day as a celebration of Mothers.  It is quite common for childern to give there mothers cards and flowers, in a similar fashion to that of the Mother’s Day celebrated in the United States and other countries around the world. 

Links:

Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothering_Sunday

BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/motheringsunday_2.shtml

General sites

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/easter/mothers.htm

http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothering-sunday.html

http://www.mothers.net/englishmothersday.htm

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