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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Mothering Sunday
Many people believe that Mothering Sunday is a relatively modern invention but its roots go back much further than the modern festival launched by an American woman at the turn of the century. Anna Jarvis had devoted her life to caring for her mother and decided that it was important to have a special occasion each year to acknowledge how precious mothers are. The first Mother’s Day Service and celebrations in the United States were held in West Virginia in 1908 and five years later Mother’s Day became an official holiday throughout America on the second Sunday of May. Carnations are also associated with Mother’s Day as she took carnations to the service as they had been her mother’s favorite flowers.
However, the European mid-Lenten celebration dates back to the Middle Ages when in Catholic Britain it was custom for servants to visit their Mother Church (where they were baptized) on mid-Lent Sunday to make offerings at the high altar. In the “Gentlemen’s Magazine for February 1784, Nichols, an English writer, notes that when he was an apprentice the custom was to visit his mother, a native of Nottingham, on mid-Lent Sunday.
Another writer in the same volume says: “I happened to reside near Chepstow and heard for the first time of Mothering Sunday. The practice was for servants and apprentices on mid-Lent Sunday to visit their parents an make them a present of money or a trinket or some nice eatable’ Indentured servants and apprentices would sometimes travel many miles to present their mothers with gloves, a traditional gift or even a posey of early spring flowers from the fields through which they trudged, if they had no money to spare from their meager wages. There would be a special meal which broke the monotony of the Lenten fast and a Simnel cake was baked.
In Leckford, near Stockbridge in Hampshire, England, Mothering Sunday was called Wafering Sunday from the wafer cake impressed with a seal that young people offered to their mothers on this occasion. A special iron used to impress the cakes had two stamps, one on which had three locked hearts surmounted by a cross enclosed within a circle. The other had foliate ornaments on the other side. They were made red hot and the wafer was branded with them by someone employed especially to do this job.
May you spend a wonderful day with your family and loved ones surrounding you!!

I remember one year when my son was about 7 he gave me a card which read:

"This year for Mother's Day I thought I would give you a choice: Breakfast in bed or a clean kitchen"

Needless to say I opted for a clean kitchen as in order to make a scrambled egg, a slice of toast and a cup of coffee, he dirtied almost every single pot and pan in the house!! LOL!!

18 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Interesting info and lovely pictures. As I have no children and my Mum passed away some 8 years ago, it is a day that I normally don't remember. This year because of all the Mother's Day blogs, I have had many happy memories of my mother brought back to me.Thank you Diane

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss Diane but I am pleased that you have so may happy memories. Both my mother and son are gone too and I do not celebrate this day either.

blog with no name said...

Wow Joan! You really did your home work... Thank you for the lesson on Mother's day.
I am still blessed with my mother and am thankful for her every day... without her I wouldn't be me...

Rambling Woods said...

Oh Joan..this is a difficult day for you...I always feel conflicted today. Happy so happy that I have my daughter and sad for the relationship that my mother is not capable of...It is a difficult day.... hugs...Michelle

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Mike. I thought it was an interesting piece. I found the info in a book I was reading some time back. How wonderful that your mom is still with you. They are such wonderful people and do so much for us in our lives.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

My dear Michelle, my heart goes out to you. try to remember the good day, even if they were few and far between. I am sure your daughter makes up for a lot you have been through. Hugs.

Becky said...

I just read about Anna Jarvis yesterday. What an interesting history Mother's Day has. Love the flowers. Happy Mother's Day to you, Joan!!

A human kind of human said...

What an interesting take on Mother's Day! Jo-Anne came home (lol) for the day and we went to church together for a good giggle at the funny shoes "her pastoortjie" was wearing and a delightful Mother's Day message, then to Spiff Tea Garden for lunch at 11:00 (for heaven's sake) and then home for a nice snooze (while she of couse did her washing!) for the "old people" and Facebook on my laptop for her. A fairly normal Sunday in the Olivier household I would say... would have been special if you were here to share it.

Gaelyn said...

Joan, that was a very interesting piece on the history of Mothering Sunday. Nice idea carried on a long time. Now with more commercial tweaks of course.
All the flowers are gorgeous. Did you pick them on the way somewhere? ;-)
Best was the "clean kitchen" which made me smile. :)
I have a decorated plate made in school from my son at about the same age.
Sorry I missed this yesterday and Happy Mother's Day to you, all who mother.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. I like finding out the origin of these things if I can. I am altogether too curious!! :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Anne. It sounds like a delightful day and everything as normal as can be except for the lunch at Spiff's. :) How wonderful the two of you could get out.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Gaelyn. Things always become so commercialized that we forget or loose the origin of them unfortunately.

That 'clean' kitchen story is one I will never forget. It was so funny!! LOL!!

Mary said...

I had never heard of Mothering Sunday. Nice information! The memory of your son is a very precious one and I'm sure you still smile when you think of it. It made me smile :-)

JM said...

Beautiful close-ups! My favourite is the frangipani. I brought two stems from Burma, one died (too much water, I guees) but the other is big now has already bloomed! :-)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Mary, the memory of it always makes me smile and they are precious ones too. He had a fantastic sense of humor and was always making me smile and laugh at something. :)

I think a lot of things like this have been lost to the commercial world we now live in, so it is interesting to find out where these customs originate from. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose. What a pity that one died and yes, you are probably right they do not like a lot of water. They come in the most beautiful colours here and have the most heavenly smell. I can never walk past a tree without picking a flower and smelling it as I go along. :)

Anna said...

Joan happy belated Mother's day, what a nice informative and yet adorable post. Your son story made me laugh. Anna :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I hope you had a wonderful day with Mathew too Anna. Gosh, time flies and I can't believe he has just had another birthday. What a lovely child !! Yes, my son always made me laugh and would come up with the funniest things. :)I have a whole stack of cards and things he gave me which I have saved all the years.