Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday, is now a day to honor mothers and other mother figures, such as grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law.
Mothering Sunday was originally a time when people returned to the church, in which they were baptised or where they attended services when they were children. In time, it became customary for young people who were working as servants in large houses, to be given a holiday on Mothering Sunday. They could use this day to visit their own mother and often took a gift of food or hand-me-down clothing from their employers to her. In turn, this moved towards the modern holiday, on which people still visit and take gifts to their mothers.
Traditionally, people observed a fast during Lent. Lent is the period from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday. During the Lent fast, people did not eat from sweet, rich foods or meat. However, the fast was lifted slightly on Mothering Sunday and many people prepared a Simnel cake to eat with their family on this day. One legend says that the cake was named after Lambert Simnel who worked in the kitchens of Henry VII of England sometime around the year 1500.