Sunday 31st March is Mothering Sunday in the UK. The festival, which always falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent is a celebration of motherhood, when children traditionally give cards and gifts to their mother to demonstrate their love. So how will you be saying ‘thank you’ this year to the lady who brought you into the world?
We’ve got some great ideas for original and thoughtful gifts, but before we reveal them, have you ever wondered how Mothering Sunday came about? It’s not, as popular myth would have it, a cynical commercial invention to drum up business for the greetings card industry. And although it’s often called Mothers’ Day, it doesn’t have any connection with the American festival that goes by this name and is held on the second Sunday in May.
In fact, the roots of Mothering Sunday lie deep in history. They may even go back further into the mists of time. It’s possible the festival has its origins in early rites giving thanks for the end of winter and the start of spring: celebrating rebirth, regeneration and new life.
Certainly, the festival has religious links that can be traced back at least to the Middle Ages. On most Sundays in this period, churchgoers in England would worship at their nearest parish church, but once a year in the middle of Lent, they would visit the main church or cathedral in the area – their ‘mother church’. The day became an occasion for family reunions as children who were working away from home returned for the day. Most historians think that it was the return to the 'Mother' church which led to the tradition of children, particularly those working as domestic servants, or as apprentices, being given the day off to visit their mother and family.
But for Mothering Sunday as we know it today, we have Constance Adelaide Smith to thank. Constance was the daughter of an Anglican clergyman from Buckinghamshire, and in the early 20th century, she campaigned to reinvigorate the ancient Christian holiday.
Constance was inspired by Anna Jarvis, the American woman who in 1914, persuaded President Woodrow Wilson to recognise the contribution of mothers by introducing Mothers’ Day into the US calendar.
Although she was not a mother herself, Constance established a movement to promote Mothering Sunday: researching, collecting and publishing information about the day and its traditional observance throughout the UK. She succeeded, and by the time she died in 1938, Mothering Sunday was said to be observed in every parish in Britain, and every country throughout the British Empire!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Perfect Mum!
From every style of fashion bag you can think of, to tasteful home furnishings including cushions and wall hangings, the Signare website is overflowing with inspiration for Mothering Sunday gifts.
Every mum is different, and we have designs to suit all interests. Yours might be avid about art, keen on cats, dotty about dogs, nuts on nature – or passionate about something else altogether, but we defy you not to find a Signare design that’s just perfect.
To help you get started, we’re highlighting some designs from our collection that we think every mum will love.
V&A Inspired Designs from Signare
New for 2019! The V&A is home to a huge collection of textiles from around the world, and we are delighted to announce that Signare has been licenced to reproduce two classic designs by British Victorian artists onto our products. These designs will be arriving in March, so your mum can be one of the very first to own them!
Almond Blossom & Swallow by Walter Crane
This pattern is inspired by an 1878 wallpaper design Almond Blossom and Swallow by Walter Crane (1845–1915). Crane was one of the leading exponents of the Aesthetic Movement and the first President of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. Crane’s wallpaper designs often showed the influence of Japanese art on British culture. This particular wallpaper pattern was exhibited at the International Exhibition, held in Paris in 1878, where it was awarded a gold medal. The original design is now housed at the V&A.
Golden Fern by Bruce James Talbert
Golden Fern is inspired by a furnishing fabric designed by the Scottish architect, furniture maker and author, Bruce James Talbert (1838–81). He created the design in 1875. Talbert favoured a new aesthetic derived from Japanese decorative art, also known as Aestheticism. This art movement was a complex mixture of several styles and emphasised the importance of art above everything else – and the pleasure to be found in beautiful things. Talbot’s original design is now in the V&A archives.
Jane Austen Inspired Designs from Signare
Last year, we introduced two delightful new patterns with a direct connection to Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Both are inspired by an oak leaf motif from a pelisse coat (a garment worn over a dress or gown and fashionable during Austen’s lifetime) once owned by Jane herself. The coat is in the care of Hampshire Cultural Trust and is one of the only garments in the world with a provenance that can be traced directly back to the author.
In our Austen Blue design, the gold oak leaves of Jane’s pelisse coat are enhanced by twisting, swirling stems of white oak flowers. The beautiful floral design is set against a Regency blue background.
Start browsing our website now to find hundreds more gift ideas for Mothering Sunday!
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