Mother’s Day Australia: Celebrating the Special Women in Our Lives

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to start planning the perfect celebration for your mum.

In Australia, Mother’s Day is one of the most popular holidays of the year, and there are many ways to make it special for your mother or mother figure.

Whether you’re looking for gift ideas, activities to do together, or just some inspiration for how to show your appreciation, we’ve got you covered.

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Keep reading for tips and suggestions on how to make this Mother’s Day one to remember.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 2024

Are you still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some great gift ideas that will make your Mum feel special.

  • Gift Card Store: If you’re not sure what to buy, but still want to add a personalised touch, check out the Gift Card Store. They offer customisable gift cards from a large selection of retailers.
  • Catch.com.au: Choose from a huge selection of carefully curated gifts by the team at Catch.com.au. They have something for every kind of Mum.
  • Interflora: Flowers are always appreciated. Make her day special with flowers delivered from the world’s most trusted flower delivery company – Interflora. And the best part? They deliver everywhere!
  • DIY Gifts: If you’re feeling crafty, why not make your Mum a DIY gift? You could make a photo album, a scrapbook, or even a homemade candle.

No matter what you choose, remember that the most important thing is to show your Mum how much you love and appreciate her.

Even if you can’t afford something expensive, a phone call or a visit can mean the world to her.

When is Mother’s Day celebrated in Australia?

If you’re wondering when Mother’s Day is celebrated in Australia, it’s on the second Sunday of May each year.

This means that the date changes annually, but it’s always on a Sunday. For example, in 2024, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, 12th May.

The table below shows the dates for Mother’s Day in Australia for the past ten years:

Year Date
2023 Sunday, 14th May
2022 Sunday, 10th May
2021 Sunday, 9th May
2020 Sunday, 8th May
2019 Sunday, 12th May
2018 Sunday, 13th May
2017 Sunday, 14th May
2016 Sunday, 8th May
2015 Sunday, 10th May

It’s important to note that Mother’s Day is not a public holiday in Australia.

However, it is a special day for many people to show their appreciation and love for their mothers, grandmothers, and other mother figures in their lives.

The History of Mother’s Day

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Portrait of Anna Jarvis from the Library of Congress Harris and Ewing collection.

Mother’s Day has been celebrated for over a century and is now observed in over 40 countries worldwide.

The holiday was first celebrated in the United States by peace activist Anna Jarvis in 1908, who initiated a campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the US after her mother’s death in 1905.

Although her proposal was continually denied by the US Congress, Anna held a memorial at St Mathews Methodist church in West Virginia to celebrate her late mother.

Anna Jarvis continued to push for the recognition of Mother’s Day in the US, and in 1911, her efforts paid off when all states in the USA chose to observe the holiday.

In 1914, a declaration signed by US President Woodrow Wilson established the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

In Australia, the first Mother’s Day was held in 1924, over a decade after it first began in the US.

Sydney woman Janet Heyden started the Australian tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother’s Day after becoming concerned for the lonely, forgotten aged mothers at Newington State Hospital where she regularly visited a friend.

Although the holiday has become commercialized over time, its origins were rooted in honoring mothers and their sacrifices.

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in 168 countries around the world.

Interesting Mother’s Day Facts

Mother’s Day is a special day where we honour and appreciate the love and care that mothers provide. Here are some interesting facts about Mother’s Day:

  • In Australia, there were 6,227,200 women aged 18 and over who had given birth to children in 2012-13.
  • In the United States, Mother’s Day is the most popular type of greeting card sold with approximately 152 million cards purchased and sent each year.
  • The carnation is strongly associated with Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis, a peace activist, used carnations to symbolize the significance of the day.
  • In 2014, 71% of working mothers in Australia used alternative work arrangements to care for their children aged 0-12 years. Flexible work was used by 39%, part-time work by 38%, and 19% worked at home.
  • Almost 38% of women who ran their own business in 2014 had children under 15 years old, and 18% had a child aged 0-5.

These facts highlight the community’s recognition and respect for mothers and their significant role in the family.

Although the commercialisation of the holiday has led to an increase in gift giving, the stories of appreciation, recognition, and love for mothers remain at the heart of the celebration.

Things to do on Mother’s Day in Australia

Mother’s Day is a widely observed holiday in Australia, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate it.

If you’re looking for ideas to plan your next Mother’s Day festival with your Mum, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven top ideas to inspire you:

  1. Organize a family lunch or dinner with home-cooked meals: There’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal shared with loved ones. Plan a special menu and cook together with your Mum to make the day extra special.
  2. Go shopping: Spoil your Mum a little by taking her shopping. You could visit her favorite stores or explore new ones together.
  3. Organize a picnic with friends and family: Take advantage of Australia’s beautiful scenic landscapes and organize a picnic with your Mum, friends, and family. Pack your favorite foods and enjoy the great outdoors together.
  4. Go out and have fun in the great outdoors: Australia is known for its natural beauty, so why not plan a day out in nature? Go for a hike, take a bike ride, or enjoy a scenic drive. Don’t forget to capture all the memories on a lens.
  5. Visit an art gallery, museum, or any other educational sites: If your Mum is interested in art, history, or science, why not visit an art gallery, museum, or any other educational site? It’s a great way to learn something new and spend quality time together.
  6. Go to the movies: Treat your Mum to a new film at the cinema. Choose her favorite genre or try something new together.
  7. Do something your Mum loves with her: Whether it’s gardening, baking, or painting, do something your Mum loves with her. It’s a great way to bond and create memories together.

Whatever you choose to do with your Mum on this special day, she’s sure to appreciate the effort you’ve gone to.

Gifts to give on Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a special occasion to show your appreciation and love for the special women in your life.

While there are many ways to celebrate this day, giving gifts is a popular way to show your affection. Here are some gift ideas to consider:

Personalized photo book

A personalized photo book is a great way to showcase all your memorable moments with your mother.

You can choose a theme and design the book yourself, or use an online service to create a professional-looking photo book.

This gift is sure to bring back fond memories and make your mother feel loved.

Custom set of skincare products

If your mother loves skincare products, a custom set of skincare products is a thoughtful gift.

You can choose products that suit her skin type and preferences, or get her a gift voucher so she can choose her own products. Local Australian brands or high-end international brands are both great options.

Perfumes

Perfumes are a classic gift for any occasion, and Mother’s Day is no exception.

If you know your mother’s favourite perfume, getting her a bottle of it is a great way to show her that you pay attention to her likes and dislikes. Alternatively, you can get her a new scent to try out.

Flowers

Flowers are a traditional Mother’s Day gift in Australia. Carnations and Chrysanthemums are popular choices for Mother’s Day bouquets.

If you want to make the gift more special, you can choose your mother’s favourite flowers or colours. Planning ahead is important, as florists sell out quickly on this popular holiday.

Jewellery

Jewellery is a timeless gift that can make your mother feel special. Watches, chains, and bracelets are all popular Mother’s Day gifts that are designed to impress.

If you have a sizeable budget, you can consider getting her a piece of jewellery that she has been eyeing for a while.

Kitchen appliances

If your mother spends a lot of time in the kitchen, getting her a new appliance can make her life easier. You can choose a blender, toaster, or any other appliance that she needs.

This gift is both practical and thoughtful.

Remember, the gift you choose doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. What matters most is the thought and effort you put into it.

Whether it’s a homemade card, a cooked meal, or a day out, your mother will appreciate any gift that comes from the heart.

Is Mother’s Day a public holiday in Australia?

Mother’s Day is not an official public holiday in Australia. However, the event is celebrated on a Sunday, so many families can still celebrate it.

Most Australian businesses follow normal Sunday trading hours, but restaurants and venues may charge a supplement due to the popularity of the holiday.

Mother’s Day usually falls outside of school holidays, often in the middle of Term 2 for New South Wales and Victoria.

Therefore, schools remain open on Mother’s Day, and students attend classes as usual.

Why Do Mother’s Day Dates Differ Between Australia and Other Countries?

Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates in different countries. In Australia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, just like in the United States.

However, in the UK, Mother’s Day is observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which is over a month before Mother’s Day in Australia.

Other countries have also adapted alternate dates to celebrate Mother’s Day, and these dates are often determined by historical or religious significance.

In total, 168 countries celebrate Mother’s Day as an established tradition, with the holiday most commonly celebrated in March or May.

Just over half of those countries, including Australia, celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.

The idea for this date was first proposed by American writer and women’s rights activist Julia Ward Howe in 1870.

The reason for the variation in dates is due to different cultural and historical traditions that have influenced the celebration of Mother’s Day in different countries.

For example, in Spain and the Spanish-speaking world, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May, as it is the month dedicated to celebrating the Virgin Mary according to Catholicism.

Overall, the varying dates of Mother’s Day reflect the diverse ways in which different countries honor and celebrate motherhood.

Holidays which are similar to Mother’s Day

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While Mother’s Day is not an official public holiday in Australia, it is still considered a significant day for many Australians.

Other nationally recognized days that are not public holidays include Valentine’s Day and Remembrance Day.

Father’s Day is also celebrated in Australia on the first Sunday of September to honor fathers and father figures.

While not as popular as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is still an important day for many families.

FAQ – Mother’s Day in Australia

Is Mother’s Day a public holiday in Australia?

No, Mother’s Day is not a public holiday in Australia. However, since it is celebrated on a Sunday, you can enjoy the day with your family without worrying about work.

When is Mother’s Day in 2024?

Mother’s Day 2024 will be celebrated on Sunday 12th May 2024. It is always celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year.

What is the best gift for Mother’s Day?

The best gift for Mother’s Day is one that comes from the heart. It should show your love, compassion, and happiness towards your mother.

However, if you want to present your mother with something tangible, you could consider spoiling her with flowers, jewelry, or perfumes.

These are some of the most popular gifts for Mother’s Day.

Do the shops open on Mother’s Day?

Yes, shops and services are open as normal on Mother’s Day. However, since it is typically celebrated on a Sunday, be ready for different opening and closing hours.

Keep in mind that some businesses might offer special promotions and events specifically for Mother’s Day.

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Disclaimer: Whilst all care is taken to ensure the information presented here is accurate, it is subject to change at any time without notice and may be inaccurate at the time you view it. We will not be held accountable for informational and technical inaccuracies or errors. We encourage you to cross-reference the information presented on this site with official Australian and state/territory government source websites.

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About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.