Mother’s Day in the USA

Many people give gifts, cards, flowers, candy, a meal in a restaurant, or other treats to their mother and mother figures, including grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers.

When Is Mother’s Day in the USA?

Mother’s Day in the United States is annually held on the second Sunday of May. The same is true for Australia and Canada. However, there still exists confusion about the right date.

Why Is Mother’s Day Celebrated in Different Dates?

Other countries celebrate Mother on different dates: The United Kingdom celebrates Mother’s Day three weeks before Easter Sunday (as “Mothering Sunday”). Costa Rica celebrates August 15, Georgia celebrates March 3, Samoa celebrates the second Monday of May, and Thailand honors mothers on the birthday of the Queen of Thailand on August 12.

Why Is Mother’s Day Celebrated in the United States?

Mother’s Day has become a day that focuses on generally recognizing mothers’ and mother figures’ roles. Mother’s Day has also become an increasingly important event for businesses in recent years. This is particularly true of restaurants and companies that manufacture and sell cards and gift items.

The origins of Mother’s Day are attributed to different people in the United States. Many believe that two women, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis, were important in establishing the tradition of Mother’s Day in the United States.

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.

History of Mother’s Day

Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for Mother’s Day to be celebrated each year to encourage pacifism and disarmament amongst women. It continued to be observed in Boston for about ten years under her sponsorship, but lost popularity afterward.

In 1907, Anna Jarvis held a private Mother’s Day celebration in memory of her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, in Grafton, West Virginia. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist during the Civil War and organized “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to improve health and cleanliness. Her daughter Anna Jarvis launched a quest for Mother’s Day to be more widely recognized. Her campaign was later financially supported by John Wanamaker, a clothing merchant from Philadelphia.

In 1908, Jarvis was instrumental in arranging a service in the Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, which was attended by 407 children and their mothers. The church has now become the International Mother’s Day Shrine. It is a tribute to all mothers and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

US President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation in 1914 designating Mother’s Day as a national holiday to honor mothers, to be held on the second Sunday of May.

Is Mother's Day a Public Holiday?

Mother’s Day is not a federal holiday.

Organizations, businesses, and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their mothers out for a treat.

Legally, Mother’s Day is a state holiday in Arizona. However, because it always falls on a Sunday, most state government offices and employees observe their Sunday schedule on the day.

Mother’s Day Observances

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