When Is Mother's Day 2023?

Mother’s Day may not take place until May, but any day is a great day to appreciate mothers and everything they have done for us. These days, we tend to celebrate with flowers, chocolates and special meals out with Mom. But Mother’s Day didn’t start out as a day marked by gifts and greeting cards. We’re answering some of the most common questions you may have about Mother’s Day: When is Mother’s Day 2023, and what is the history of Mother’s Day?

When is Mother's Day 2023?

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

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What is the history of Mother's Day?

Anna Jarvis is considered the “mother of Mother’s Day” in the U.S.

Jarvis’s mother passed away in 1905 and three years later, Jarvis organized a memorial ceremony in West Virginia to honor her mother, and all mothers. She sent 500 white carnations to the service and held her own memorial in Philadelphia. That day, May 10, 1908, is considered the first official celebration of Mother’s Day.

Over the next few years, Jarvis campaigned to have Mother’s Day recognized by the federal government, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The resolution requested that the American flag be displayed that day at businesses and homes “as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

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In the years that followed, Anna Jarvis became frustrated with the commercialization of Mother’s Day by flower companies, candy makers, and the like.

“To have Mother’s Day the burdensome, wasteful, expensive gift day that Christmas and other special days have become, is not our pleasure," she wrote in the 1920s, according to National Geographic. “If the American people are not willing to protect Mother’s Day from the hordes of money schemers that would overwhelm it with their schemes, then we shall cease having a Mother’s Day—and we know how.”

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Jarvis herself never profited from Mother’s Day, although she raised dozens of lawsuits over the years to protect Mother’s Day as her intellectual property.

Despite Jarvis's best efforts to prevent the commercialization of the holiday, people tend to celebrate Mother's Day today by buying cards, flowers, candies and other gifts for Mom.

Related: When is Mexican Mother's Day?

What are some Mother's Day facts?

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt personally designed a Mother’s Day stamp in 1934. It featured the famous “Whistler’s Mother” painting by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

  • Not everyone celebrates Mother’s Day in May. Several countries, including Afghanistan and Bulgaria, mark the day on March 8, which coincides with International Women’s Day. Other countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, celebrate Mother's Day on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, and sometimes refer to the day as Mothering Sunday.

  • In 2021, greeting cards were the most popular item shoppers planned to purchase for their mother, followed closely by flowers and a special outing, according to the National Retail Foundation.

  • 31 percent of Americans reported buying fresh flowers for their mother in 2019, according to About Flowers.

  • About a quarter of all holiday-related flower purchases in the U.S. are made for Mother’s Day.

  • The median age at which women become mothers in the U.S. is 26, up from 23 in 1994, according to the Pew Research Center.

  • About 68 percent of mothers in the U.S. are married, while 24 percent are solo moms, according to Pew.

  • The white carnation is the official flower of Mother’s Day. Founder Anna Jarvis compared carnations to a mother’s love in a 1927 interview, according to National Geographic. “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying," she said.

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