Mother’s Day Fast Facts

Updated 9:23 PM EDT, Fri May 28, 2021
CNN —  

Mother’s Day is observed on the second Sunday in May in the United States. It is also celebrated in many other countries.

May 8, 2022 - Mother’s Day.


In 2019, 27 was the average age in the United States for first-time mothers, according to the CDC.

In its early days, people observed Mother’s Day by going to church, and by writing letters to their mothers. Eventually, sending cards and giving gifts and flowers were added to the tradition.

More people purchase fresh flowers and plants for Mother’s Day than for any other holiday except Christmas/Hanukkah.

In 2021, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that US consumers will spend $28.1 billion celebrating Mother’s Day. Shoppers will spend an average of $ 220.48 on mom.

Most consumers will give cards (72%) and flowers (68%) to their mothers or take her out to eat (49%) in 2021. Jewelry accounts for more than half (59%) of the $1.4 billion increase in spending since 2020, according to the NRF.

According to the 2021 Mother’s Day Index, the various tasks moms perform at home would be worth $116,022 a year in the professional world. That’s a 23% increase from $93,920 in 2020.

Anna Jarvis started the tradition of wearing a carnation on Mother’s Day. A colored carnation means that a person’s mother is living. A white carnation indicates that a person’s mother is deceased.

While many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, a tradition which began in the US, it’s celebrated annually on May 10 in Mexico. Similar celebrations of mothers are held on various days of the year in other countries, often following ancient or religious traditions.

In Britain and some parts of Europe, the fourth Sunday of Lent was often celebrated as Mothering Day, but that has been replaced by Mother’s Day, for the most part.


1872 - Julia Ward Howe, who is a pacifist, suffragette, and writer of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” first suggests Mother’s Day in the United States. She suggests the day as a day mothers could rally for peace and for several years, she holds an annual Mother’s Day meeting in Boston.

1908 - Anna Jarvis begins a campaign for a nationwide observance of Mother’s Day in honor of her late mother, a community health advocate. Anna Jarvis was deeply dismayed over the commercialization of Mother’s Day. Before she died in 1948, she admitted that she regretted ever starting the holiday.

May 9, 1914 - President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.