Mothering Sunday is a Christian holiday celebrated throughout Europe that falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent. It has become an occasion for honouring mothers of children and giving them presents. It is increasingly being called Mother’s Day, although that holiday was an American invention, and is celebrated in the same way in the UK as it is elsewhere.
During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone “a-mothering”, although whether this preceded the term Mothering Sunday is unclear.
In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours.
The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place in the church or give to their mothers. Eventually, the religious tradition evolved into the Mothering Sunday secular tradition of giving gifts to mothers.