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What is the Date of Mother's Day?

Updated on March 1, 2011

Mother's Day is an annual celebration where people honor their mother for what she means to them and for all the things she has done for them. Depending on the country's culture, it can be common to make breakfast or to give a gift, such as beautiful red roses.

But what is the date of Mother's Day? This holiday is celebrated on different dates around the world. Why is that? Why don't we all honor mothers all around the world on the same day?

This makes everything a lot more confusing. Your international friends might be celebrating Mother's Day next week and you start thinking: wait, how could I forget such an important day??

But then you remember that you celebrated Mother's Day a few months ago!

The date of Mother's Day

In most of the world, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Some large countries that celebrate Mother's Day on this date are the United States, China, and Australia.

Mother's Day was established as a holiday in the United States in 1910 by the state West Virginia and it became a national holiday in 1914. Some people that are credited with establishing the tradition of Mother's Day in the United States are Ann Jarvis, her daughter Anna Jarvis and social activist Julia Ward Howe.

The tradition of Mother's Day spread to other countries around the world and many countries have adopted the same date. However, in some countries this date conflicted with existing traditions and holidays or the date was changed to that of a historical event in that country.

Red rose.
Red rose. | Source

Date of Mother's Day all around the world

In many other countries the holiday is still celebrated on a Sunday, such as the first Sunday in May (e.g., Hungary, Portugal and Spain), the last Sunday of May (e.g., France and Sweden) or a particular Sunday in a different month. Other countries have opted for a fixed date, such as Indonesia (December 22), Thailand (August 12), and Poland (May 26).

In Thailand this coincides with the birthday of the Queen of Thailand, Queen Sirkit. This practise of linking Mother's Day with a historical event is not uncommon. For example, in Bolivia the holiday of Mother's Day is on May 27 which refers to a battle during the Bolivian War of Independence.

In most of the Arab world it is celebrated on March 21 after introduction in Egypt by Mostafa Amin. Funnily enough, in Nicaragua the date was simply chosen by the president and he picked the birthdate of the mother of his wife!

The British and Irish have their own tradition of celebrating Mothering Sunday which is held on the fourth Sunday in the period before Easter, also known as Lent. Those are the historical origins but now it's more and more referred to as Mother's Day.

Mother's Day celebration.
Mother's Day celebration. | Source

Date of Mother's Day in your country

For a pretty comprehensive overview of dates of Mother's Day in many countries, I recommend checking the article on Wikipedia about this day.

Remember that in many countries the day is not on the exact same day but it depends on the Sunday of a particular month, such as the second Sunday of May in many countries.

If you're lucky then the calendars sold in your country already have the day marked as a reminder. Otherwise, just write it down in your agenda ahead of time so you don't make the somewhat emberrassing mistake of forgetting Mother's Day! Not as bad as forgetting your mother's actual birthday but if it's tradition to celebrate Mother's Day then you want to be well-prepared!

Idea for Mother's Day: Make a photo for mom!


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