Mother’s Day is the day we celebrate mothers everywhere and tell them how much they mean to us – but do you know when Mother’s Day originated, or that it is celebrated on different days all around the world? Find out more with these fun Mother’s Day facts!
Although Mother’s Day as we know it has evolved and substantially grown in recognition across the globe, the origins can be traced back centuries to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
With millions of cards sent and bouquets of flowers bought, Mother’s Day is a momentous day for families around the world – and it also accounts for billions spent on gifts each year.
These Mother’s Day facts are a great way for children (and the whole family!) to learn more about the day we recognise mothers, grandmothers and maternal figures in our lives for all they do.
Fun Mother’s Day Facts
When is Mother’s Day?
Mother’s Day falls on a different day each year, and on different dates around the world.
- In Norway, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday of February
- In Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Russia and Laos, Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 8th with International Women’s Day
- In the UK and Ireland, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent
- In Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other Arab countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated to coincide with the Spring Equinox on March 21st
- In Armenia, Motherhood and Beauty Day is an official holiday dedicated to mothers and falls on the Feast of the Annunciation on April 7th
- In Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala, Mother’s Day is always celebrated on May 10th – and no matter what day of the week that is, it is a busy day for families to get together.
- Mother’s Day in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most of the world falls on the second Sunday in May
- In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day is not just one day, but instead a three day celebration of motherhood known as Antrosht.
- In France, Sweden, Dominican Republic, Haiti and several others, Mother’s Day falls on the last Sunday of May (sometimes the first Sunday in June if Pentecost falls on the last Sunday of May)
- In Mongolia, Mother’s Day falls on June 1st and combines with Children’s Day
- In Thailand, Mother’s Day is celebrated on Queen Sirikit’s birthday in August.
- In Argentina, Mother’s Day or Dia de la Madre is celebrated on the third Sunday of October
Origins of Mother’s Day
Ancient Greeks and Romans held celebrations and festivals to honour the mother goddesses Cybelle and Rhea.
Mother’s Day as we know it was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908. Originally, Anna envisaged this to be a family celebration, but the commercialisation of the day soon took off. Anna ended up campaigning against the widespread commercialisation of the holiday in her later years.
Mother’s Day Now
By 1912, Mother’s Day was widely celebrated in towns across the US and was made an official national holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson.
Carnations are seen as the original Mother’s Day flower. Anna Jarvis used the carnation as the symbol for celebrating mothers, with a red carnation for mothers who were living and white for mothers who had passed.
Mother’s Day has become one of the biggest days in the year for consumer spending with gifts, flowers, cards and chocolates top of the list. In 2020, the US National Retail Federation estimated a spend of almost $27 billion on Mother’s Day gifts.
According to Hallmark, about 113 million cards are exchanged each year on Mother’s Day!