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Easter in the United Kingdom

       One of the most famous was of starting lent, and so the Easter celebration, in the U.K. is by holding Pancake races. You ran down the road while tossing and trying not to drop your pancake! Sadly, due to very expensive insurance (in case people fell over and hurt themselves!) it's not done any more in Minehead.

      On Mothering Sunday, which is always the Sunday in the middle of Lent in the U.K., special services are held in churches to thank God for Mums. Flowers such as Daffodils and Primroses are often given to mums to say thank you for all the hard work they do! It is also traditional that Mums get the day of house work and might even have breakfast in bed! In old times, when a lot of people had servants, Mothers Day was when maids and servant could go home and see their parents and especially Mothers. A cake was traditionally made to take home to save the maid's mothers baking for Mothers Day. Simnel cake is still eaten today on Mothers Day.

     People who go to Church on Palm Sunday, often receive a small cross made of palm leaves blessed by the priest or minister.

     One very famous U.K. Easter tradition is the giving out of 'Maundy Money' by the Queen on Maundy Thursday. Centuries ago it was tradition that the reigning King or Queen would wash the feet of a few of poor people, the number of people being the same as the monarch's age. This was to remember that Jesus washed his disciples feet before the Last Supper.

     Over the years the tradition has changed. Now the Queen, carrying a small pomander or bouquet of sweet herbs, gives little purses of money to a few chosen men and women. The coins are special little silver pennies and the purses are made of soft leather and are closed with a drawstring. The ceremony is held at Westminster Abbey, in London, every other year. In the years when it isn't held at Westminster Abbey, the Queen distributes the Maundy Money at different cathedrals in the country.

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