Mother's Day History: 6 Fast Facts About Origin Of Holiday

Mothers-Day-History
Learn six surprising facts about Mother's Day.

Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday in May every year, and the 2014 Mother's Day will be the 100th anniversary of the holiday. First celebrated by Anna Jarvis in 1908 in the United States to honor her deceased mother, the holiday has since become a globalized celebration of mothers all over the world. While Jarvis first created the day, she changed her tune after resenting the commercialization of the celebration. In fact, by 1920, she was vocal about not buying flowers and cards for mothers and even protested the holiday.

Despite Jarvis' attempts, the holiday has only grown larger and is one of the most celebrated secular holidays in the world. Here are six fast facts about Mother's Day:

1. According to Hallmark, 133 million cards are exchanged on Mother's Day. Other card facts: 65 percent of the sales take place five days before Mother's Day and the average consumer buys 2.8 cards. This makes the holiday the third largest card-sending holiday in the United States. It's also the second most popular holiday for giving gift, after Christmas.

2. Apart from the card and gift industry, one other area sees a spike in business: phones. Estimates suggest that phone calls increase by 37 percent on Mother's Day. Pew Research Center cites that more calls are made on Mother's Day than any other day.

3. Curious how many people celebrate Mother's Day? Roughly 85 percent of adult men and women celebrate it. This would explain why, according to the National Retail Federation, Mother's day is a $20 billion industry.

4. Mother's Day became a national holiday in 1914 after President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclomation. Surprisingly, many senators were not on board with the idea, as they felt celebrating mothers for just a day was insulting.

5. While Jarvis is credited with starting the holiday, there is a holiday that dates to the 16th century that is believed to be the origin of the holiday. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, in Europe, people would celebrate "Mothering Sunday." This holiday saw a decline in the 1930s.

6. Jarvis may have not been on board with the holiday, but she started a unique tradition of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day. A white carnation symbolizes that your mother is dead and a colored carnation means she is alive.

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