Day is becoming more popular in China, and carnations are a very popular gift and the most sold type of flower. In 1997 it was set as the day to help poor mothers, specially to remind people of the poor mothers in rural areas such as China's western region. In the People's Daily, the Chinese government's official newspaper, an article explained that "despite originating in the United States, people in China take the holiday with no hesitance because it goes in line with the country's traditional ethics – respect to the elderly and filial piety to parents.
In recent years the Communist Party member Li Hanqiu began to advocate for the official adoption of Mother's Day in memory of Meng Mu, the mother of Mèng Zǐ, and formed a non-governmental organization called Chinese Mothers' Festival Promotion Society, with the support of 100 Confucian scholars and lecturers of ethics. They also ask to replace the Western gift of carnations with lilies, which, in ancient times, were planted by Chinese mothers when children left home. It remains an unofficial festival, except in a small number of cities.