18 Fun Facts about Mother’s Day!
If we are honest, we should celebrate mothers every day of the year, not just on Mother’s Day. They are truly remarkable in all they juggle and do for their families. Most importantly, it is kind of special, that there is a dedicated day to making sure we make an effort to show our mothers how we feel and express our love and appreciation. This year, 2022, the day to be showering her with our special thanks and appreciation is Sunday, May 8th, this year’s Mother’s Day date.
If you are after a creative way to show her how much you care, why not share some quirky and fun facts about Mother’s Day. We have compiled some interesting facts below.
1. The term ‘Mum’ was invented by babies
The first and easiest sound a baby can vocalise is the ‘ma’ sound. Consequently, in almost every language, the word for mother begins with the letter ‘M’ and is some version of the ‘ma’ sound. For example, Mother is ‘Mère’ in French, ‘Mutter’ in German, ‘Madre’ in Italian, ‘Maa’ in Hindi and ‘Matka’ in Polish.
2. The date for Mother’s Day changes each year
While the date changes each year, the timing stays the same – we celebrate this holiday yearly on the second Sunday of May. This year Mother’s Day will be on May 8th, 2022.
3. More calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day.
According to Peter Rogers, senior vice president of VIP Communications, mother’s Day is the most popular day to place phone calls across the world, registering more calling traffic than any other holiday, including New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.
4. There were over 6 million mums in Australia in our last census
The most recent Australian Census in 2016 recorded that there were more than 6 million mums in Australia, making up at least 77 per cent of Australian women aged 15 years and over
5. Most women in Australia have their first child in their twenties.
The average age of mothers in Australia has been rising over time. For both first-time mothers, it has increased from 27.9 years in 2009 to 29.4 in 2019. The age of those who have given birth previously went from 31.0 years in 2009 to 31.9 in 2019. The highest proportion of mothers are aged between 30 and 34 (more than one-third (36%) of all mothers).
6. Australians love to spoil their mums on Mother’s Day
Australians are set to spend $754 million on Mother’s Day gifts in 2022, according to research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). The favourites topping the gifts for mums are flowers, alcohol, food and clothing. Good on you, Aussies, for truly spoiling your mums on Mother’s Day.
7. Australians love to treat their mums in restaurants and cafes
According to the comparison website founder.com.au around $200 million is estimated to be spent on flowers, while the most significant spending happens at restaurants and cafes, to the tune of $300 million. Comparison site finder.com.au has found lunch to be the most popular activity for the day, followed by high tea and breakfast.
8. It’s not just mums who get Mother’s Day love
Around a quarter of Australians will be purchasing gifts for people who aren’t their birth mother, including mothers-in-law, wives or partners and other family members. Similarly, some opt to recognise those women who have been mother figures to them in their lives. More love for mums to go around!
9. Mother’s Day celebrations date back to ancient times
Festivals honouring mothers and mother goddesses date back to ancient times. The Phrygians celebrated a festival for Cybele, the Great Mother of the Gods, as did the Greeks for the goddess Rhea. Likewise, the Romans adapted the practise to their own pantheon.
10. Some countries still observe ancient cultural festivals to honour mothers.
Some countries continue to observe ancient festivals. For example, people continue to celebrate Durga-puja in India, honouring the goddess Durga. This is a 1- day festival taking place around September or October and remains an important festival in India.
11. The more recent history of Mother’s Day starts with peacemaker Ann Jarvis.
During and following the US Civil War, Ann Jarvis made a dedicated effort to foster community and friendship between mothers on both sides of the civil war. In 1868 she started a committee that established the first glimmer of today’s holiday: “Mother’s Friendship Day.”
12. Ann Jervis’ daughter Anna created the official holiday.
Anna Reeves Jarvis wanted to honour her own mother. So she established an intimate day of observance and formed the foundation of today’s holiday with the very first Mother’s Day celebrated in 1908.
13. US President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into law in 1914.
Anna Jarvis had created the Mother’s Day International Association aiming to streamline the day of observance to the second Sunday in May. US president Woodrow Wilson consequently legitimised the celebration as a nationwide holiday in the USA in 1914.
14. Anna Jarvis later tried to stop what Mother’s Day became.
Reasonably quickly, Mother’s Day became a commercialised opportunity for retailers to sell flowers, chocolates, and cards. Meanwhile, Anna Reeves Jarvis felt that this was detracting from the original idea of a personal and intimate celebration of mothers. She defied this by starting walkouts and boycotts and even expressed her condemnation of first lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using this day as a means of fundraising. Jarvis eventually used all her money on this fight and died in a sanatorium at the age of 84.
15. Carnations and their special meaning on Mother’s Day.
Anna Reeves Jarvis used the carnation flowers on Mother’s Day to show whether one’s mother was still living. A red carnation showed she was, and a white meant she had passed.
16. Australia’s own Mother’s Day guardian
In Australia, Mother’s Day started out like the day Jarvis intended to create in the US. However, here, the tradition of giving gifts on Mother’s Day can be credited to Janet Hayden of Leichhardt, NSW. Janet is our very own special Mother’s Day guardian. In 1923, while she stayed in the hospital, she found a big number of lonely patients were ageing mothers. Hayden started to campaign for people to donate presents to those mothers in the hospital. She pursued this with the support of local school children and businesses who provided the gifts while the children distributed them.
17. Flowers have many positive health benefits
Above all, flowers have long been a unique way of letting the recipient know how important a role they play in the sender’s life and communicate how they might feel towards them. Certainly, this is true on Mother’s Day. Further, substantial research demonstrates that giving a bouquet of flowers also holds many positive health and psychological benefits.
18. Mother’s Day is a global holiday
As a result, today, a total of 168 countries around the world celebrate Mother’s Day as an established tradition. The holiday is mainly celebrated in March or May, and just over half of those countries (Australia included) celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.
And lastly, in some countries around the world, people celebrate the day at entirely different times of the year. Many different traditions are attached to this day too. For example, In Thailand, on Mother’s Day, many mothers day parades mothers take place, and the Jasmine flower is the flower most commonly gifted to mums. In Serbia, mums are tied up with ribbon or rope until they give sweets and gifts to their children – quite the opposite of our Mother’s Day traditions.
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