A Mothering Sunday treat

Photo:Somewhere on the road near Blidworth

Somewhere on the road near Blidworth

Copyright © North East Midland Photographic Record. All rights reserved.

It's posh porridge really!

By Alice Cave

John Potter Briscoe, a notable local historian, compiled two volumes of ‘Nottinghamshire Facts and Fictions’ in the 1870s.  On the topic of Mothering Sunday, he writes:

The harshness and general painfulness of life in old times must have been much relieved by certain simple and affectionate customs which modern people have learned to dispense with.  Amongst these was a practice, which existed last century, of visiting the parents on Mid-Lent Sunday, taking for them some little present.  A youth engaged in this act of duty was said to go “a-mothering”, and thence Mid—Lent Sunday itself became to be called “Mothering Sunday”.  One can readily imagine how, after a stripling or maiden had gone to service, or launched out into independent housekeeping, the old bonds of filial love would be brightened by the pleasant annual visitation, signalized, as custom demanded it should be, by the excitement attending some novel, and perhaps, surprising gift.  There was also a cheering and peculiar festivity appropriate to the day, the prominent dish of “furmety”, which is made of whole grains of wheat first boiled plump and soft, and then put into , and boiled in, milk, and sweetened and spiced.  This practice originated from the Roman Hilaria, or feast in honour of the mother of the gods, on the eighth of March, on which day she is said to have been converted into the mother church.

For more information on Mothering Sunday, click here.

This page was added by Alice Cave on 29/03/2011.

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