Posted in Kafevend Blog
We hope you all had a good time yesterday and didn't forget it was Mother's Day! Given the occasion, we thought we'd have a delve into this celebration and see where it all started and, of course, see if there's any mention of drinks, cakes or biscuits anywhere.
Mother's Day as we know it began in the United States back in the early 20th century. It wasn't the first such festival to celebrate mothers however- the ancient Greeks and Romans had a day- or series of days- where they celebrated Cybele, the mother of the Gods. The modern Mother's Day can be traced back to a woman named Anna Jarvis who started campaigning in 1905 for a recognised holiday celebrating mothers. Despite opposition in 1908 from a scornful US Congress, she got her wish in 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, a national holiday. Mother's Day was soon taken up by other countries around the world, including Britain.
Here in Britain, Mother's Day falls on the same day as a Christian holiday called Mothering Sunday. Although you might assume it is talking about mothers thanks to the holiday's name, Mothering Sunday actually refers to the act of returning to your mother church. A mother church is basically the most important church in the local area, and a special service is held there on this day. Mothering Sunday is also known as Laetare Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday in the season of Lent. Traditionally it is a day of relaxation from the fasting of Lent.
We said we would be on the look out for drinks, cakes or biscuits earlier, and thankfully there is one associated with this day- simnel cake, which was traditionally made to celebrate Mothering Sunday, though these days it's more strongly linked to Easter itself. Simnel cake's name is thought to refer to the fine white flour used to make it, although it isn't known for sure. What is known is that it's a tasty fruit cake with marzipan, which is a bonus if you are into almonds. There are two layers of it; one in the middle and another on top. It's traditionally decorated with eleven marzipan balls, possibly representing the twelve apostles minus that rapscallion Judas. This decoration began in the Victorian period, and was often accompanied by other decorations such as preserved fruit and flowers.
So there you have it folks- another holiday and another tasty treat associated with it to enjoy alongside your brew of choice. Tradition says you don't have to wait until Easter, so if you didn't get around to having simnel cake yesterday, we're sure no one will mind you making or picking one up from the bakers to enjoy this week!