Why Is Mother’s Day in Australia Different to in the UK?

Mother's Day 2024

Mother’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the mothers in our lives, many of whom have been more compassionate, selfless women after giving birth.

The day was first celebrated in the US in 1908 by peace activist Anna Jarvis who wanted to honour the sacrifices her late mum, Anne Reeves Jarvis, and other mums made for their children. Interestingly, later in her life, Jarvis campaigned fiercely against the commercialisation of Mother’s Day.

Ann Marie Jarvis - When is Mothers Day
Anna Jarvis / Credit – Getty Images

In Australia, Mother’s Day was said to have been celebrated in 1910 with special church services, but it wasn’t until 1924 that the holiday became more widespread. Sydney woman Janet Heyden is credited with this. She was motivated to help the lonely, elderly mums at the hospital she visited.

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in over 168 countries, with mums around the world often showered with a greetings card, breakfast in bed and a thoughtful gift, typically in the form of jewellery, perfumes, flowers, personalised items of kitchenware, followed by a special lunch or afternoon excursion with the whole family.

Every year, Mother’s Day in Australia is celebrated on the same day as in the US – the second Sunday of May. Meanwhile, in the UK, the day changes each year because Mothering Sunday began as a church tradition, occuring three weeks before Easter on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Other countries have their dates, mostly determined by historical or religious significance.

When Is Mother’s Day 2024?

So, when is Mother’s Day this year? In 2024, American and Australian Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 12, while in the UK, it takes place not long before — on Sunday, March 10.

The day isn’t a public holiday, as it always falls on a Sunday, which isn’t part of the workweek. But you might still expect to pay a supplement at a restaurant or other hospitality venue. Which is fine by us, as any mum we know deserves it.

Related: 16 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas That’ll Suit Every Type of Mum

Related: The Best Mother’s Day Flowers You Can Order Online, Straight to the Door

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