Mother's Day: Google Doodle celebrates Mothering Sunday with image of cycling family

 

Google has celebrated Mother’s Day with a Doodle that depicts a mum cycling with her young son and daughter.

While Mother’s Day has set dates in other countries, in the UK Mothering Sunday is marked on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

The day's origins lie in domestic servants and apprentices being given the day off by their employers to visit their mother and the rest of their family.

The occasion is also linked to customs dating back to the 16th century, when it is believed that people would visit the ‘mother church’ – the main church or cathedral in their area - in the build up to Easter.

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Giving a bouquet of flowers on Mothering Sunday is said to come from children picking newly-blossomed wild flowers and violets on their way to church.

 

Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday, as the strict Lent rules in some denominations were relaxed. Both Old and New Testament lessons on mid-lent Sunday address the topic of food, including the well-known Gospel telling of how Jesus fed five thousand people with only five small barley loaves and two small fish.

Families were therefore allowed to indulge briefly on Mother's Day, and would eat Simnel which was customarily topped with moreish sugar violets.

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