Feliz Día de la Madre: Happy Mother’s Day!
Did you know that today is Mother’s Day? In Mexico, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the 10th of May, unlike the US or Canada that celebrates on the second Sunday of the month.
Each May 10th marks one of the busiest days in the country since 1922 when Mexico celebrated its first Mother’s Day. Today’s celebration of mothers is a very different tradition in Mexico than in the rest of North America.
In Mexico, Mother’s Day is celebrated with a religious undertone that include images of La Virgen de Guadalupe and Virgin Maria, mother of God, which are used as symbols of the commemoration. It is also customary to play “Las Mañanitas” for all mothers on this special day.
So what do children give as gifts to their mother’s on this social day? One of the most popular Mother’s Day gifts are irons. Blenders are also very popular, not for making margaritas, but for making soups, sauces, salsas, which require the use of a blender. However, mother’s are treated the entire day to gifts, crooning mariachis and of course sweets, which are central to the celebration of mothers here.
In larger towns and cities around Mexico, musicians pack the restaurants, but another tradition, especially in the countryside, holds that mariachis and the adoring children gather outside mothers’ home for a serenade.
The most popular song is the sweet, sugary “Las Mananitas”:
“Awaken, my dear, awaken/ and see that the day has dawned/ now the little birds are singing/ and the moon has set”.
Another way to celebrate is to have friends over. Having 80 people over for lunch on a day such as this is not unusual.
Mother’s Day is, without a doubt, the most important day for restaurants when most sell double or triple what they would on a normal day. On average, restaurants around the country hire an additional 200,000 waiters.
The most popular restaurants are, naturally, family-style, where kids can run around and families eat from long tables piled with kilos of carnitas and barbacoa.
For mothers who have passed on, the tradition does not end with their death. Children of deceased mothers buy flowers for their mothers who have passed away because they go to visit them at the cemeteries. Each year cemeteries overflow with bouquets.