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What Day Does Mother's Day Fall On?

Since Mother's Day always falls on the second Sunday of May, this year the holiday to honor our moms will be celebrated on Sunday, May 14 - that is, in the United States. Many other countries (like Australia and Canada) also set aside the second Sunday of May to recognize the importance of mothers, but in some places Mother's Day (or its equivalent) is celebrated on a different day. Mexico, for instance, always observes Mother's Day on May 10. In the United Kingdom, Mother's Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, or exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. In Thailand, Queen Sirikit's birthday, August 12, is the day to honor mothers since the queen is viewed as a maternal figure to the entire country's population.

Cherry Blossom Bouquet

Mother's Day in the United States did not originate as an annual May holiday. Instead, the day we now set aside to spoil our mothers mostly began as a wartime effort to get women to unite in the promotion of peace around the time of the Civil War. A woman named Anna Jarvis is usually credited with giving a name to and beginning the observance of our modern Mother's Day - her organized celebrations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, combined with her flood of letters to politicians and newspapers in the first decade of the twentieth century, eventually led, in 1914, to President Woodrow Wilson's establishing the second Sunday of May for the new national holiday.

Anna Jarvis envisioned Mother's Day as a very personal holiday, one in which each individual would dedicate the day to his or her mother, not to all mothers as a group. Hence, the holiday was termed Mother's Day (the singular possessive), not Mothers' Day (the plural possessive). Jarvis also requested that the newly christened holiday include the wearing of a white carnation. Today in many countries, including the U.S., the carnation continues to feature prominently in Mother's Day activities and gifts. It has become traditional to give or wear white carnations in honor of a mother who has passed away, whereas red or pink carnations recognize mothers who are still living. In addition to giving flowers, Americans purchase more cards for Mother's Day than for any other holiday except Valentine's Day and Christmas, although Mother's Day is second only to that most wonderful time of the year in gift giving - which only demonstrates how much we appreciate our mothers!