Celebration of Mothers

Mothering Sunday. Photo copyright Jebulon CC3
Mothering Sunday. Photo copyright Jebulon CC3

In Ireland, Mother’s Day is celebrated on Laetare Sunday – the fourth Sunday in Lent.

Mothers Day. Photo copyright Jebulon CC3

Mother’s Day in America, and many other parts of the world, is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. It  has a different origin to Mothering Sunday in Ireland  and Britain. See below.

Poem. God made an Irish mother. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Mothering Sunday

Originally known as Mothering Sunday, it is thought to have developed from the Christian tradition of visiting the ‘mother church’ (a cathedral or large church where a person was baptised) on Laetare Sunday.

Children who had gone to other villages to work as apprentices or domestic servants were given time off to visit the church. Some employers gave the children ‘hand-me-down clothing’ for them to give to their mother as a gift.

Families were reunited. People were said to have gone ‘a-mothering’.

The children picked wild flowers which were displayed in the church. These flowers were given to mothers at the end of the service.

This grew into the tradition of honouring mothers and giving gifts.

Mothers Day poem. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Relaxing the Lent Fast

Simnel cakeLent lasts from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday. During Lent people traditionally fasted, and didn’t eat sweet, rich foods or meat (this is why pancakes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday – to eat up all the rich food in the house).

The Lent fast was relaxed on Mothering Sunday and a simnel cake was at treat for the family on this day. A simnel cake is a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan in the middle and on the top. It is decorated with 11 marzipan balls that represent the twelve disciples minus Judas. It is also a traditional Easter cake.

Mothering Sunday. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Mothering Sunday was also known as Sunday of the Five Loaves, and Simnel Sunday.

Religion does not play a large part of the celebration today, but the tradition of giving flowers and gifts to mothers remains.
God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

American Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis. Photo copyright Olairian CC3Mother’s Day began in America in the early 20th century. Anna Jarvis’ mother had died on May 9 and she held a memorial for her.

She campaigned to make ‘Mother’s Day’ an accepted holiday in America to celebrate the love and work of mothers.

In 1914, President Woodrow made the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day. It now celebrated all over the world.

See the favourite posts from Facebook about mothers

A Mother’s Loves A Blessing, the Benn Sisters

All images copyright Ireland Calling


Celtic festivals prints available

Celtic festival prints. ireland-calling-store.com

Visit the Ireland Calling store


Did you know?

Singing Cork barman has fans across the world - a video of the Irish music loving barman singing while he poured a pint went viral as people became enchanted by his easy going style and great voice. Check out his video.

Have you heard about…

Irish people warned about the ‘Celtic curse’ - a potentially deadly blood condition, that harms the liver, heart and pancreas, has been labelled the ‘Celtic Curse’ because more people in Ireland are prone to it than people from other countries. Find out more.

What about this…

‘Irish giant’ Tom Crean was one of the bravest and toughest explorers of the early part of the 20th century. Thanks to his positivity and faith, he managed to not only survive horrific conditions but also save the lives of his colleagues. Find out more.
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.