Baking Mother’s Day Special – History and Traditions of this Special Day

Mother's Day is a time when we all say 'thank you' to our mums for doing such a wonderful job of looking after us, and doing the lion's share of the jobs around the home like the washing, vacuuming and cleaning. Many of us like to give cards and small gifts, make breakfast, bake cakes or cook lunch to show our appreciation. But when did this tradition actually start?

It seems the history of Mother's Day can be traced right back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honour of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, the early Christians in England celebrated a day to honour Mary, the mother of Jesus and by a religious order the holiday was later extended to include all mothers, and named as the Mothering Sunday.

In the UK Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent (which lasts from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter Sunday), which is why it falls on a different date each year. Most Sundays in the year churchgoers worship at their nearest parish or 'daughter church'. Centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their home or 'mother' church once a year. So each year in the middle of Lent everyone would visit their 'mother' church - the main church or cathedral of the area. This day became an occasion when families got together and children who were working away from home (usually in service) were given the day off and allowed home to see their families. Often the cook or housekeeper would allow the maids to take eggs or flowers or bake a cake to take home for their mother. So it became a day of family celebration when small gifts were exchanged.

Mother's Day was also known as Refreshment Sunday or delightfully as Pudding Pie Sunday because the fasting rules of Lent were relaxed on that day. Simnel cake (a fruit cake decorated with marzipan) is specially associated with Mothers' Day and often given to mothers on this day. Legend has it that the cake got its name when a man called Simon and his wife Nell argued over whether their Mother's Day cake should be baked or boiled - so they did both SIM:NEL!

Whatever the reasons for Mother's Day, it now has a wonderful tradition with food. And what could be more special for mums everywhere than to have breakfast in bed, lunch prepared or a delicious cake baked and served with tea? Cooking with children needn't be a problem either, yes it might be a little messier, you might end up with a light coating of raw ingredients outside of the bowl but whether on clothes or carpet with Vanish it will be cleaned in a jiffy. Doesn't matter if its tomato ketchup or coffee from the breakfast in bed, chocolate or ice cream from the cake or grass and mud stains from picking flowers from the garden, Vanish has a solution to get fabric and carpet clean again.