Why is the Mother’s Day date different in America from the UK?
Mother's Day is fast approaching with social media feeds soon to be filled with tributes to mums everywhere, but have you ever wondered why we get a second wave of mum-orientated messages later in the year?
That's because the US, as well as some other countries, celebrate the occasion in May, rather than in March like us Brits.
But why is the date different in various nations and how did Mother's Day come about in the first place?
When is Mother's Day held in the UK?
In the UK Mother’s Day is always held on the fourth Sunday of the Christian festival of Lent.
The custom came about because this was traditionally when those who had moved away for work would come back and visit their ‘mother church’ and their own mothers, which is also why we often refer to it as Mothering Sunday.
As the dates of Lent vary each year, so does the date of Mothering Sunday.
As well as the UK, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Nigeria all have the same date for Mother's Day.
This year it will be celebrated on March 19, while in 2024 it will be on Sunday 10th March.
Read more: How to cope if Mother's Day is difficult for you
Why is it a different date to the US?
In the US, Mother's Day is held on the second Sunday of May, which this year falls on Sunday May 14 2023.
The celebration does not have religious links and, according to History.com, was in fact started when an activist called Anna Jarvis held a service in May 1908 to honour the sacrifices individual mothers made for their children.
"Jarvis then began writing letters to newspapers and politicians pushing for the adoption of Mother’s Day as an official holiday," the site reveals.
Watch: Hunt helps make Mother's Day cards with nursery children
The idea took off and many other churches and areas started celebrating the day with her campaign paying off in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Interestingly, however, despite originally establishing the day, Jarvis is believed to have started disapproving of the subsequent commercialisation of the occasion, which she felt went against its sentimental origins.
She even said she regretted starting it and at one point, sought to abolish it.
Read more: I haven't spoken to my cruel mother for 10 years
When do other countries celebrate the day?
Many other countries celebrate Mother's Day at different times of the year.
Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Belgium all use the second Sunday in May as the date for celebrating mothers.
But in Mexico, and many parts of Latin America, Mother's Day is celebrated on May 10th of each year, with Mexicans marking it via the “Día de las Madres” every year.
In the Middle East, the celebration first started in Egypt in 1956. It is now celebrated on the first day of spring.
Meanwhile in Thailand, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit.
Read more: Best Mother’s Day gifts 2023, from hampers to unique experiences
Mother's Day by numbers
According to the British Retail Consortium, around £45 million is spent on Mother’s Day Cards with around 30 million cards sent, and around £55 million is spent on chocolates, with around four million people buying a box for their mum.
Around £260 million is also spent on flowers for the mother figure in your life, with experts from the Flowers & Plants Association, claiming Mother's Day is the biggest event in the UK's cut flower and indoor plant industry.
At this time of year the UK's sales of cut flowers and indoor plants increase by an average of 40% on a normal day's trading.
As well as flowers and chocolates, £1.8 billion is spent on personal service gifts for mums including spas, manicures etc... With a couple of days to go, there's still time to hit the shops.