"If I had a flower for each time I thought of my mother, I could walk in my garden forever." (Unknown author)
Mother's Day as we know it today evolved from a number of different strands of tradition, which explains why the dates differ throughout the world.
In Britain in the 17th century it was common for children of just eight or nine to leave the home to take up training as an apprentice or to take work as servants. They would be kept busy and wouldn't see much of their families but on the forth Sunday of Lent they would be allowed a holiday to return to home for Refreshment Sunday. This became known as 'going a-mothering' and on their way home the young apprentices and servants would pick spring wildflowers as a greeting gift for their mothers. They would often also bring a gift for the family from the merchants or nobles who employed them. A traditional gift was simnel cake, which is now often made for Easter as well as mother's day.
Simnel is a rich cake with fruit and mazipan and provided a treat for Mothering Sunday which was also known as Refreshment Sunday or Laetre (rejoicing) Sunday. Roughly midway through Lent, this is a day when people are invited to take a break from their Lenten discipline and enjoy themselves with feasting and resting in anticipation of Easter. After Mothering Sunday the children would return to their work, busied with Easter preparations, and might not visit their families again until Christmas time. Here's a recipe to make your own tasty Mother's day simnel cake.
Did you know, another name for this holiday is 'Rose Sunday'. This is because priests may wear rose, rather than purple, coloured vestments on this day, as a mark of rejoicing and relaxation. In addition to this, it's traditional for the pope to carry a golden rose on this day as a symbol of joy. In the modern US tradition, established by Anna Jarvis in the early 1900s, the carnation is the flower of mother's day but the rose remains every popular.
Take a look at our great Mother's day spring garden basket.