May 10th is Mexican Mother’s Day. It’s not an official day off, although all kindergartens and elementary schools, both private and public, have class suspensions for some sort of civic event, whether singing, theater or art, to show appreciation for mom. It’s a fixed holiday, so the day it falls on is the day it is observed as opposed to the Sunday jumping that occurs in the U.S.
In Mexico, May 10th was chosen way back in 1911 but didn’t get much attention until 1922, after Rafael Alducin wrote an article in the journal El Hogar supporting the idea of celebrating Mother’s Day. In his article, Alducin stressed the sanctity of motherhood as one of Mexico’s traditional and fundamental values. The Catholic Church took up the call as a way to discourage family planning and reduce the threat of feminism. As a result, the Archbishop of Mexico gave his official blessing to the holiday. After all, Mexico recognizes La Virgen de Guadalupe as the mother of Mexico (See La Virgen de Guadalupe) and what could be more honorable for a Mexican woman than to follow her example?
Just as is done with the ultimate Mexican mother, La Virgen de Guadalupe, it is very common to hear mariachi serenading mamas with Las Mananitas at dawn.
The church outdoes itself with a special morning mass for all mothers, sometimes accompanied with atole and tamales. Mothers are treated to bouquets of flowers and chocolates from their children. Families often gather for a traditional meal in honor of the matriarch. Visits to the panteon (cemetery) are also common. A mother is still a mother, even after death. (See El Dia de Los Muertos)
As a mother of a Mexican, I have to say, Mexico’s Mother’s Day celebrations have a way of making a mother feel honored.
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May is quite the month here in Mexico. Every time you turn around there is another celebration! For other Mexican May holidays see: El Día de los Trabajadores, Conmemoración del Escuadron de Pelea 201, El Dia de La Santa Cruz y El Dia del Albañil, La Batalla de Puebla, Natalicio de Miguel Hidalgo, El Dia de la Madre, El Jueves de la Ascensionn, Pascua de Pentecostés, ía del Maestro, and El Dia del Estudiante