International Mothers Day Date

Mother's Day

Flowers and other gifts are given to mothers on Mother's Day. Flowers and other gifts are given to mothers on Mother's Day.

What Do People Do?

Many people remember their mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day. Mother figures may include stepmothers, relatives, mothers-in-law, a guardian (eg. a foster parent), or a family friend. There are many different ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Giving cards, flowers, or cakes.
  • Family gatherings or visits.
  • Family breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners either at home, at a café or at a restaurant.
  • Personal phone calls, particularly from children who live away from their mothers and/or mother figures.
  • Mother’s Day poems and messages.
  • Gifts of chocolate, jewelry, accessories, clothing, hobby equipment or tools, handmade items, or gift vouchers.
  • A day at the movies with mothers and/or mother figures.

Mother’s Day is celebrated in different countries, including China where carnations are popular Mother’s Day presents. Some groups in Samoa organize elaborate song and dance performances throughout the country. They celebrate the contributions that mothers make to Samoan society.

Public Life

Mother’s Day falls on different days depending on the countries where it is celebrated. It is held on the second Sunday of May in many countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United States. It is held exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday in the United Kingdom. Sundays are usually non-school and non-working days in these countries.

Mother’s Day is an annual public holiday in countries such as Costa Rica (August 15, on the same day as Assumption Day), Georgia (March 3), Samoa (second Monday of May), and Thailand (August 12). Restaurants and cafes may be busier than usual as some people take their mothers out for a treat.


Early Mother's Day celebrations can be dated back to the spring celebrations to honor Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, in ancient Greek civilization, according to some sources. Later, Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom was traditionally a day for people to visit the church where they were baptized, although it now also celebrates motherhood in modern times.

The modern-day origins of Mother's Day can be attributed to two women – Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis, who were important in establishing the tradition in the United States. Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for Mother's Day to be celebrated each year. It continued to be held in Boston for about 10 years under her sponsorship, but died out after that. Other sources say that Juliet Calhoun Blakely initiated Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the late 1800s. Her sons paid tribute to her each year and urged others to honor their mothers.

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