In 1872 Julia Ward Howe called for women to join in support of disarmament and asked for 2 June 1872, to be established as a "Mother's Day for Peace".
Her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died.
The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a "Mother-in-law's Day".
The first state officially recognizing Mother's Day as a local holiday being West Virginia, Jarvis' home state, in 1910.
Owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother's Day as a local holiday.
In 1912 Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase "Second Sunday in May, Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, Founder", and created the Mother's Day International Association.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Jarvis specifically noted that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world." This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in his 1914 presidential proclamation, by the U.S. Congress in relevant bills, and by various U.S. presidents in their proclamations concerning Mother's Day.
The first Mother's Day in Brazil was promoted by Associação Cristã de Moços de Porto Alegre (Young Men's Christian Association of Porto Alegre) on 12 May 1918.
By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother's Day cards.
Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day, and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit.
As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother's Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved.
Jarvis protested this idea (the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day) at a candy makers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923.
In the Czech Republic, Mother's Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. It started in former Czechoslovakia in 1923.
Jarvis protested this idea (the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day) at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925.
It was first celebrated in 1925 by the Hungarian Red Cross Youth.
In 1932, President Getúlio Vargas made the second Sunday of May the official date for Mother's Day.
Mother's Day in Italy was celebrated for the first time on 24 December 1933 as the "Day of the mother and the child" (Giornata della madre e del fanciullo).
The idea (Mother's Day) was first ridiculed by president Gamal Abdel Nasser but he eventually accepted it and Mother's Day was first celebrated on 21 March 1956.
In 1956, the celebration was given a budget and integrated into the new Code de l'action Sociale et des familles.
In 1997 Mother's Day was set as the day to help poor mothers and to remind people of the poor mothers in rural areas such as China's western region.
Georgia celebrates Mother's Day on 3 March. It was declared by the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia in order to replace the International Women Day, and it was officially approved by the Supreme Council in 1991.
Mother's Day in Egypt is celebrated on 21 March, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.
Mother's Day is celebrated for three days in Ethiopia, after the end of rainy season. It comes in mid-fall where people enjoy a three-day feast called "Antrosht".
In Estonia, Mother's Day (emadepäev in Estonian) is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is recognized nationally, but is not a public holiday.
In Finland, Mother's Day (äitienpäivä in Finnish) is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is recognized nationally, and is a public holiday.
In Brazil, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
Mother's Day in Canada is celebrated on the second Sunday in May (it is not a public holiday or bank holiday), and typically involves small celebrations and gift-giving to one's mother, grandmother, or other important female figures in one's family.
Celebratory practices are very similar to those of other western nations. A Québécois tradition is for Québécois men to offer roses or other flowers to the women.
Mother's Day in the United States is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society.
Occurrence: 27 May
In Bolivia, Mother's Day is celebrated on 27 May. El Día de la Madre Boliviana was passed into law on 8 November 1927, during the presidency of Hernando Siles Reyes. The date commemorates the Battle of La Coronilla, which took place on 27 May 1812, during the Bolivian War of Independence, in what is now the city of Cochabamba. In this battle, women fighting for the country's independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army. It is not a public holiday, but all schools hold activities and festivities throughout the day.
Occurrence: Third Sunday of October
Dates: Oct 21, 2018 / Oct 20, 2019 / Oct 18, 2020
Country: Argentina (Día de la Madre)
In Argentina, Mother's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of October. The holiday was originally celebrated on 11 October, the old liturgical date for the celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary but after the Second Vatican Council, which moved the Virgin Mary festivity to 1 January, the Mother's Day started to be celebrated the third Sunday of October because of popular tradition.
In some countries, the date adopted is one significant to the majority religion, such as Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance.
For example, Bolivia's Mother's Day is a fixed date, remembering of a battle in which women participated to defend their children.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary.
In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.
In Hindu tradition, Mother's Day is called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" or "Mother Pilgrimage fortnight", and is celebrated in countries with a Hindu population, especially in Nepal, where mothers are honored with special foods. The holiday is observed on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh, i.e., April/May. This celebration is based on Hindu religion and it pre-dates the creation of the US-inspired celebration by at least a few centuries.
In Buddhism, the festival of Ullambana is derived from the story of Maudgalyayana and his mother.
In Islam there is no concept of Mother's Day.
The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.