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When is Mother’s Day 2013? It’s Sunday, May 12, and as with many holidays, it’s not celebrated the same day every year. Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May, something all grateful sons and daughters ought to have burned into their memories. After all, our moms gave us life and brought us into this wonderful world of Googleable answers, so it’s only right we take one day out of the year and say “thank you” for all they’ve done.

Mother’s Day isn’t a new idea—cultures around the world have honored motherhood for millennia—but the modern holiday began in the United States. Credit belongs to Anna Jarvis, who famously held a memorial for her late mother on May 12, 1907. She later campaigned for a national holiday, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the bill that made things official. The official language denotes the observance as Mother’s Day—note the singular possessive noun, the form preferred by Jarvis—but some people use the plural possessive, Mothers’ Day.

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On May 12, 2013, a number of countries will join the United States in celebrating Mother’s Day. They include Australia, Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Other nations around the world big-up their moms at different points in the year, and in the United Kingdom, for example, mothers get their due on the fourth Sunday in lent. This year, that’s March 10. Like Father’s Day—which takes place on Sunday, June 16, 2013—Mother’s Day is seen by some as overly commercialized, and Jarvis herself became a critic of the holiday, as she believed Americans had lost sight of the day’s true meaning.

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