To many, a mother is the most important person in a child’s life, yet her impact is often taken for granted. This Mothering Sunday show how much you care by joining us at Smith & Wollensky for a sumptous meal accompanied by live jazz from the Hot Club of Jupiter and a small gift from us at Smith & Wollensky for your mother to take home.
Some people think of Mothering Sunday as a modern phenomenon, while others believe it to be American in origin. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst we would be delighted to take the credit for honouring both our fathers and our mothers with a special day just for them, the feasts in honour of our parents is as old as time.
Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honour their mothers, thank them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and guide. The first person they go to in good times and bad. However festivals celebrating motherhood are as old as time. In fact, today this festival is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates) and is a hugely popular affair. So how did it all begin?
The earliest Mothers’ Day Feast.
The earliest history of Mothers’ Day dates can be traced back 776BC and the time of the ancient annual spring festival which the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honour Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.
Roman and Early Christian Mothers’ Day
The Ancient Romans, also celebrated Hilaria, a spring festival which was dedicated to the mother goddess, Cybele, some 250 BC. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. When the Early Christians came to Rome, they adopted many of the celebratory dates in the Roman calendar and altered them slightly to fit their own goals. Which is why Christians celebrate a Mother’s Day during the fourth Sunday of Lent in honour of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. It was then called Mothering Sunday.
Mothering Sunday from Tudors to Today!
During the Tudor time, Landlords would use the occasion of Mothering Sunday to encourage, servants, apprentices and other employees staying away from their homes to visit their mothers. Usually because by the time Easter came, they would be needed in the fields for lambing. Traditionally children brought with them gifts and a special fruit cake or fruit-filled pastry. By the beginning of the Victorian era, the custom of celebrating Mothering Sunday died out almost completely, that was until World War II. Homesick service men and women revived the celebration and adopted the occasion to make sure that their Mothers were feeling truly appreciated and famously sent them wild flowers in cards.