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Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a special occasion that celebrates and honours motherhood and Mums nationwide. It’s a time to honour the powerful maternal bond that connects Mother and child and celebrate the influence our Mums have on us as individuals.

In Australia, Mother’s Day is celebrated in May – specifically, the second Sunday of May. Naturally, the actual date of Mother’s Day shifts slightly every year.

If you’re looking for Mother’s Day gifts, we offer a wide range of hampers that Mum is sure to love. Our range of hampers spans the following categories:

Or, if you’re looking to learn a little more about Mother’s Day, read on. We’ve done our homework, and we have plenty of fun facts to share about that special second Sunday in May.

When is Mother’s Day in Australia?

In 2023, Australians will celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, the 12th of May, 2024.

Here’s a short list of the dates Mother’s Day was celebrated on in the previous ten years (just in case you were curious):


Date Australia celebrated Mother’s Day on

2023 The 12th of May


The 8th of May


The 9th of May


The 10th of May


The 12th of May


The 13th of May


The 14th of May


The 8th of May


The 10th of May


The 11th of May


The 12th of May

As you can see, the last time Mother’s Day fell on the 12th was in 2019.

Mother’s Day complements the other official holiday celebrations we have that honour our family members, including Father's Day (Sunday, the 3rd of September, 2023), Siblings Day (Monday, the 10th of April, 2023), and Grandparents Day (Sunday, the 29th of October, 2023).

Which Day is International Mother’s Day?

Australia is one of the countries that celebrates Mother’s Day on International Mother’s Day (aka the second Sunday of May). International Mother’s Day isn’t really international because many countries choose to celebrate Mother’s Day (or an equivalent holiday) on other days of the year that hold more religious or cultural significance to them.

International Mother’s Day is different from International Women’s Day – which is held annually on March 8th.

Why do Mother’s Day dates differ between Australia and other countries?

Mother’s Day originally started in the U.S. in the early 1900s – though there have been celebrations for mothers for thousands of years now. Mother’s Day is always held on the same date in many countries, including Australia.

Some countries celebrate Mother’s Day on Mothering Sunday (the Fourth Sunday, exactly three weeks prior to Easter Sunday). This year, Mothering Sunday will fall on Sunday, the 19th of March.

How do Australians celebrate Mother’s Day?

As a child, you probably started Mother’s Day by making Mum some slightly charred pancakes and delivering them to her with a goofy smile and a lukewarm coffee. Adult Mother’s Day traditions generally include better food. BBQs, brunch at a swanky cafe, gourmet picnics in the park, or a Mother's Day hamper are all common ways to celebrate your beloved mother.

Gift-giving is also an incredibly important part of the Mother’s Day holiday. Traditional Mother’s Day gifts include chocolates, candles, pamper hampers, pyjamas, and flowers. The traditional Mother’s Day flower is Red Carnations. However, because Australia’s Mother’s Day date is in Autumn and Red Carnations are a spring flower, most people give White Chrysanthemums instead.

Giving gifts on Mother’s Day gained popularity after 1924. That year, Sydney woman Janet Heyden took it upon herself to collect charitable gifts for lonely mothers in Newington Hospital who lost husbands and/or sons during World War 1.

Is Mother’s Day a public holiday in Australia?

Unfortunately, Mother’s Day isn’t an official public holiday in Australia. It’s very widely celebrated and a national holiday, however, and most Australians observe the holiday in some way.

Do the shops open on Mother’s Day?

Yes, most Australian businesses are open on Mother’s Day – though some small businesses do restrict their opening hours or close entirely.

When was Mother’s Day introduced in Australia?

The first Mother’s Day in Australia was held in 1910. This initial celebration was mostly limited to special church services. However, by the 1920s, many Australians had started celebrating mothers on Mother’s Day.

Where does Mother’s Day come from? (the history of Mother’s Day)

Mother's Day as we know it today all started with an initiative from Anna Jarvis in the early 20th Century. Jarvis started her Mother's Day campaign in 1905 in the U.S. – the same year her own mother, Ann, died.

Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who looked after wounded soldiers in the American Civil War. Ann also started a work club she named the "Mother's Day Work Clubs" to speak out against public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honour her Mother and continue the work she had spent her lifetime undertaking. She decided that it was only fair to set aside a day for celebrating mothers because she believed a mother is "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world." Originally, she called Mother’s Day “Mothers Friendship Day”.

The first modern Mother's Day was celebrated in 1908 when Jarvis held a remembrance day for her own mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church (in Grafton, West Virginia). This church now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine.

Anna Jarvis also founded the Mother’s Day International Association. All along, her intention with Mother’s Day was to get people to celebrate the mother figure in their life (rather than celebrating motherhood as a whole).

In 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was the person who made the Mother’s Day holiday official (this year also marked the U.S.’s first official Mother’s Day). The rest is history.

Celebrating Mother’s Day is a fairly new pastime, but celebrations honouring mothers have been held for thousands of years. Some notable examples include:

  • Christian Mothering Sunday (originally a commemoration of the Mother Church, not motherhood directly)
  • The festivals held in ancient Greece to honour mother goddesses Cybele and Rhea
  • The Roman Festival of Hilaria

Fun things to do on Mother’s Day in Australia

The number one best way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to spend time with your Mum (and that's how many families already spend Mother's Day). Here are some fun activities you can do together:

  • Create pottery
  • Volunteer
  • Watch home movies
  • Go camping
  • Make homemade pizza or sushi
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Take a class together
  • Get a manicure
  • Cook a tasty meal
  • Do some flower arranging
  • Bake cookies
  • Go for a walk
  • Do a wine tasting
  • Make a family photo album
  • Have high tea
  • Attend Mother's Day celebrations in museums, parks, and shopping centres

What to write on a Mother’s Day card

When you order Mother’s Day hampers from The Hamper Emporium, we include a free card that you can customise with a sweet message for Mum.

If you don’t know what to write on your Mums card, here are a few suggestions from our team:

  • Mum, I owe you the world. Here’s a special gift for you to say thank you for everything you do for me.
  • “A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” — Tenneva Jordan. Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. This gift hamper is even better than pie, and you don’t have to share!
  • Enjoy this sweet Mother’s Day gift hamper from me.
  • Mum, we owe you a million dollars. Please accept this hamper instead.
  • Happy Mother’s Day to the lady who brought up the world’s best kids.

If Mum is a sentimental lady, she might also like it if you include a quote or some Mother’s Day poems.

Mother’s Day quotes

Here are some of our favourite quotes about Mums and Mother’s Day:

  • “All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” — Abraham Lincoln.
  • “If love is as sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” — Stevie Wonder.
  • “Grandmother and grandchild never truly part, maybe in distance but never in heart.” — Unknown.
  • “When someone asks you where you come from, the answer is your mother.” — Anna Quidlen
  • “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” — Cheryl Lacey Donovan
  • “Mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” — Marion C. Garretty
  • “To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.” — Dr Seuss
  • “No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother’s love.” — Edwin Chapin

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