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Who Was Born On Your Birthday?

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English Mother's Day

    In the 1600's, England celebrated a day known as Mothering Sunday, celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent. Mothering Sunday honored the mothers of England.

    As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the Mother Church - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration.

    People began honoring their mothers as well as the church. During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers.

    A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch. Sometimes furmety was served - wheat grains boiled in sweet milk, sugared and spiced.

    In northern England and in Scotland, the preferred refreshments were carlings - pancakes made of steeped pease fried in butter, with pepper and salt.

    In fact, in some locations this day was called Carling Sunday.

    Another kind of mothering cake was the simnel cake, a very rich fruit cake. The Lenten fast dictated that the simnel cake had to keep until Easter. It was boiled in water, then baked, and was often finished with an almond icing. Sometimes the crust was of flour and water, colored with saffron.



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