10 Interesting Facts about Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is Sunday. To celebrate the day, we’ve put together some interesting facts about this observance.
1. Although it may seem like Mother’s Day has been around forever, that’s not the case. In fact, it’s been an official observance for just 98 years. Congress designated Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May in 1914 at the request of Anna Jarvis, who first held similar observances in Philadelphia and West Virginia in 1908.
2. Even though it was her idea to mark the day, Anna Jarvis wanted it to be a day of prayer and reflection on the role of mothers. She was appalled at the commercialization of the day and actually went to court to try to prevent it – a battle she lost!
3. Mother’s Day is not celebrated on the same day throughout the world. In the UK, Mothering Sunday has been celebrated since the 16th century on the 4th Sunday in Lent. In other parts of the world, celebrations of motherhood can take place in other months, with some taking place in fall or winter.
4. Carnations are a popular symbol of Mother’s Day. The tradition is to honor mothers who are living with colored flowers, and those who are deceased with white ones. Most of the flowers given for Mother’s Day come from California.
5. The world’s most prolific mother was a Russian lady, Mrs. Vassilyev, who had 69 children in 27 pregnancies. She had no single births, but multiple sets of twins, triplets and quadruplets. And it seems 67 of those kids survived past infancy.
6. When it comes to Mother’s Day, kids are the last of the big spenders, and it’s the second biggest spending occasion on the US holiday list. The average spend on gifts last year was $127. Popular gifts include cards, flowers, gift certificates and meals out.
7. Even those who don’t travel home for Mother’s Day mark the occasion with a phone call – more than 122 million of them in 2011.
8. Anna Jarvis once bemoaned that Mother’s Day had become a “Hallmark occasion”. Perhaps she was right – half of us give cards on Mother’s Day, which means around 152 million cards.
9. M is for mother in most of the world’s languages.
10. It is estimated that there are 84.5m mothers in the US and 55% of moms work. In 2011, there were 10 million single moms and 5 million stay at home moms.
Image: Micah Elizabeth Scott/Flickr