Mothering Sunday (Mothers'day)
Mothers' Day is traditionally observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent (the Church season of penitence beginning on Ash Wednesday, the day of which varies from year to year). This is usually in March. The day used to be known as Mothering Sunday and dates from the time when many girls worked away from home as domestic servants in big households, where their hours of work were often very long. Mothering Sunday was established as a holiday for these girls and gave them an opportunity of going home to see their parents, especially their mother. They used to take presents with them, often given to them by the lady of the house.
When the labour situation changed and everyone was entitled to regular time off, this custom remained, although the day is now often called "Mothers' Day". People visit their mothers if possible and give them flowers and small presents.* If they cannot go they send a "Mothers' Day card", or they may send one in any case. The family try to see that the mother has as little work to do as possible, sometimes the husband or children take her breakfast in bed and they often help with the meals and the washing up. It is considered to be mother's day off.
* (Commercial firms take advantage of the occasion to sell as much as possible. Consequently, what was once rather a nice custom is now more than anything else a commercial "racket".)
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