A Brief History of Mothering Sunday in Wales
The origins of Mothering Sunday begin in the Middle Ages, around a thousand years ago, when children who had left their families to work in domestic service were allowed to go back to their home, or "mother" church. This was an occasion to see family and community again after a long time away, and often involved travel, through the gorgeous countryside in springtime. The custom then developed for children to pick flowers on the way home as a gift to their mothers.
At this point it ties in with the Christian tradition - The Middle Ages were fairly strict about Christianity - but now it has become a holiday for everyone, regardless of religion, and is celebrated all around the world, taking on local flavour and custom. Across the UK, and in Wales, we celebrate it at the end of Lent, a springtime Christian tradition of fasting. As the fasting rules of Lent were relaxed, people were overjoyed to be making and eating cake again - and so that became a part of the Mother's day tradition too.
So it also became known as Refreshment Sunday, Simnel Sunday – after the simnel cakes traditionally baked on the day - and Pudding Pie Sunday to some.