Mother's Day in the USA

Just like in many countries around the world, Mother's Day in the USA is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. We have put together all about its origin and traditions as well as some interesting facts about this US holiday for you.

Origin of Mother's Day in the USA

The official US Mother's Day was established in the 1900s following the efforts of Philadelphia school teacher Anna Jarvis. After her mother's death in 1905, she created Mother's Day as a way to honor mothers' devotion to their children.

In May 1908 Jarvis arranged the first official Mother's Day celebration in a church in West Virginia, with the financial help of a Philadelphia department store owner. Besides, thousands of people joined a Mother's Day event in one of his retail stores in Philadelphia that same day.

After the success of her first Mother's Day, Jarvis wanted to put her holiday on the national calendar. By claiming that American holidays were geared toward male accomplishments, she initiated a huge mailing campaign to newspapers and renowned politicians in which she called for the introduction of a special day to honor motherhood.

By 1912, many states and churches had incorporated Mother's Day as an annual holiday. Jarvis had also founded the Mother's Day International Association to support her cause. Her determination was rewarded when in 1914 US President Woodrow Wilson officially declared Mother's Day as a national holiday that is held on the second Sunday in May.

Throughout the years, Mother's Day became more popular and the current traditions of card and gift giving have grown. Since Anna Jarvis had originally designed Mother's Day as a day of private celebration between mothers and families, she was angered by the commercialization of Mother's Day. She felt that the original spirit of the day was lost to greed and profit.

Mother's Day Traditions

Mother's Day is one of the most commercially successful holidays in the USA today. Mothers will usually receive flowers, cards and other gifts from their children. Many families also celebrate this day by cooking breakfast for their moms and giving them a day off from typical household chores.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year for eating out at a restaurant in the United States of America.

If you are also looking for a suitable Mother's Day gift, you should definitely take a look at our unique USA gift ideas.

Interesting Mother's Day Facts

  • The founder of Mothers' Day, Anne Jarvis, never became a mother.
  • A Mother's day tradition is wearing a carnation. A colored carnation signifies that a person's mother is living while a white carnation is used to honor a deceased mother.
  • There are more Google searches for 'flowers' in the days before Mother's Day than there are leading up to St. Valentine's Day.
  • The busiest phone day of the year is Mother's Day, with over 122.5 million calls in one day.
  • Approximately 65 percent of card sales occur five days prior to Mother's Day.
  • 120 million Mother's Day cards are exchanged annually in the United States.