Mothering Sunday

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The fourth Sunday of Lent was traditionally a break from the austere rigors of the season, and on that day boys living away from home, such as apprentices or students, were allowed to return home to visit their mothers. It was customary for them to bring a simnel—a highly spiced fruitcake—as a present. The visit was termed “going a-mothering,” and on this occasion the mother bestowed a blessing upon her child.