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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone, I'm Gina.
Mothering Sunday is the day where we pay respect to our mothers. It is more commonly known as Mothers Day in other countries.
In this lesson, you're going to learn about the history of Mothering Sunday.
Simnel cake is a traditionally Mothering Sunday cake, but what is it?
We’ll show you the answer at the end of this video.
Mothering Sunday is not a fixed date in the UK. It is always the fourth Sunday of Lent, so much like Lent the date changes every year. Mothering Sunday was originally a Christian holiday and is separate from the Mothers' Day celebrated in other countries, but in the UK the two have come to have a virtually identical meaning and the two titles have become interchangeable. It is referred to as both Mothering Sunday and Mothers' Day.
The origins of Mothering Sunday refer to the custom of people returning to their mother church, the largest church in their area, and it was said that they had gone 'a mothering'. It also referred to servants at stately homes and mansions being allowed one day each year to visit their families and this would fall on Mothering Sunday. The servants would return home with presents for their mothers.
Nowadays, Mothering Sunday is merely a day to pay respects to and show our love for our mothers. Children, no matter their age, will send cards and flowers to their mothers. They may help out more with the household chores or even prepare breakfast in bed so that their mothers can have an easier and more relaxing day.
It was in the 1950s when Mothering Sunday and Mothers' Day became integrated. Retailers and merchants saw the opportunity to make some money and relentlessly promoted Mothers' Day. Now, a lot of British people don't know there is a difference.
And now I'll give you the answer to the earlier quiz.
Simnel cake is a traditionally Mothering Sunday cake, but what is it?
It is a fruit cake that is decorated with a layer of marzipan. On top of this layer, eleven marzipan balls are placed to represent Christ's twelve apostles, minus Judas who betrayed Christ. Now, it is sometimes eaten at Easter too.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Do you have Mothering Sunday, or something similar, to pay respects to your mother in your country?
Leave us a comment at EnglishClass101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!