Celebrating Mother’s Day in Mexico

Since the dawn of recorded history, cultures around the world have recognized the value of motherhood and celebrating Mother’s Day in Mexico honors them. In ancient times, people celebrated with festivals and feasts honoring goddesses or fertility figures.

With the advent of the Christian church, some people began to take a day each year to honor the “mother” church that had baptized them. The idea for day to honor our human mothers came much later, but has since become a treasured tradition for many Latino families.

The History of Mother’s Day in Mexico

The first secular Mother’s Day took place in the US in 1870 with the goal of promoting peace and healing among families and communities after the Civil War. Soon this tradition had spread south of the border into Mexico.

Mother’s Day in Mexico

Thanks to the efforts of social activists who wanted to embrace a holiday to celebrate traditional family values, May 10 became officially designated as Mother’s Day in Mexico in 1922.

The Archbishop of Mexico endorsed the holiday and to this day Mother’s Day in Mexico retains a strong religious element. In fact, many Mexican Mother’s Day cards feature icons of the Virgin and Child.

Main Traditions of Mother’s Day in Mexico

Spending time with Mamá is of course the most important tradition of Mother’s Day in Latin America and throughout the world. But each country does have its own unique take on the meals, gifts, and cards that form the core of the celebration. You might incorporate the following main traditions into your own Mexican Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Eve Dinner: On the evening of May 9, grown children return to their mother’s home for a special family dinner. Ideally someone besides Mamá will cook, but many Mexican moms take such pride in cooking for their families that they simply can’t be persuaded to take a break!

Morning Serenade: On the morning of May 10, children organize some early morning music to wake up their mothers. They might hire a mariachi band to play outside her window, or simply sing on their own.
Mother’s Day Mass & Breakfast: During Mother’s Day in Mexico the whole family accompanies their mother to a special mass and then they enjoy a community breakfast with other church members.

Mother’s Day Gifts: As in the US, Mexican kids give their mothers gifts to thank them for their love and support. Younger children might put on a little program of skits and songs organized by their school and give their moms handmade gifts, while older children typically give store bought gifts of cards, candy, flowers, jewelry, etc.

Family Lunch or Dinner: Mexican families always have at least one big meal together on Mother’s Day. It could be lunch or dinner. Many families make reservations months in advance so they can go out to eat, while others will bring dishes to mom’s house to enjoy together.

Phone Calls: Any family members that can’t be present at the Mother’s Day celebrations will call to wish all their relatives—not just their moms—a happy Mother’s Day.

How Mexican-Americans Celebrate

Many Mexicans can’t go back to their country of origin to celebrate a proper Mother’s Day in Mexico therefore most Mexican-American families celebrate Mother’s Day twice—once on May 10, and once on the second Sunday in May as American families do. With two days to honor mothers, it’s no wonder that Mexican-Americans tend to have such close-knit families and strong family values!

How to Make Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

Latin Style in Less Than 4 Hours

Homemade Mother’s Day gifts are very special. I remember when my mother opened her gifts on her special day and her eyes always seemed to lit when she received a homemade gift that reflected her personality.

Latin Decor & Handcrafted Jewelry for Mom

I know firsthand it is not easy to make a classy, beautiful looking Mother’s Day gift, one that doesn’t scream crummy and cheap. Here I come to the rescue.

Mother’s Day is a special time to celebrate endless love that our mothers give us, especially in our Hispanic culture where mothers take the center stage. Here are a few special Latina ideas for mother’s day that will help you blend the thoughtfulness of a homemade Mother’s Day gift with a little dash of Hispanic culture.

artisan-jewelry-silver-pendantsArtisan Jewelry
Silver Pendants

Home De

dichroic-glass-jewelryMexican Dichroic
Glass Jewelry

Mother’s Day Luminarias

If you have ever seen a room lit by Mexican luminarias at night, you know what special magic the intimate patterned light from these traditional punched tin lanterns can bring. You can make your own personalized luminarias for your mom using materials you probably already have at home. You will need:

  • At least one empty tin can with a nice pattern or no ads on it
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Towel
  • Small candle

After thoroughly cleaning your tin can inside and out to remove the label and any leftover bits of food, fill the can with water and stick it in the freezer. After it is frozen solid, take the can and place it on its side on a hard surface. Use the towel to keep the can from rolling around.

Now gently use your hammer and nails to make holes in the can and create a pattern. The ice inside will keep you from accidentally bending or denting the can. I like to create a heart shape so that the luminaria will project a big, bright heart on the wall when I light it for my mom.

Once you’ve finished punching all your holes, melt the ice in a hot water bath. You can decorate the can or paint it if you wish. Pop in a small candle and you have a special homemade luminaria.

TIP– At container stores you can find beautiful tins that come with patterns or colors that your mother may love. Buy them, they are generally not that expensive and you can make a set for her to light votive candles.



Mother’s Day Heart Soaps

My mom always called us kids “mi Corazón” as a term of endearment, so heart shapes are always special to us for Mother’s Day. One fun way to incorporate this into a homemade Mother’s Day gift is to create heart-shaped soaps with special messages on them. Here’s what you will need:

Mother's Day Heart Soaps

Mother’s Day Heart Soaps

    • 2 cups glycerin soap base
    • Essential oils
    • Food coloring
    • Optional soap enhancers
    • 1 ounce castor oil (improves lathering)
    • 1 ounce shea butter (moisturizes)
    • 2 ounces ground oatmeal (exfoliates)
    • 1 teaspoon beeswax (hardens soap)
    • Nonstick pan
    • Heart cookie cutter
    • Microwaveable bowl
    • Wooden spoon

You can get glycerin for your soap at a craft store. The essential oils can be anything that your mom especially likes, such as soothing lavender or vibrant citrus scents. Do not try to use vanilla or mint oils, as these can discolor the soap or irritate sensitive skin.Start by cutting your glycerin base into little cubes and placing them in the bowl.

Put it in the microwave on medium power until the glycerin is melted. If you want to include any of the optional soap enhancers, stir them in now. Then add your colors and scents. You should limit the colors to just 1 or 2 drops to avoid creating soap that will stain Mom’s hands. You should add about 10 drops of essential oil for the scent.

Now pour your soap mixture into the nonstick pan and let it set for about 2 hours. Then pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes before turning the pan upside down to remove your block of soap. Using the cookie cutter, cut out your heart shapes. If you want, you can carve a special message into the soap just for your mom.

Latin Kitchen Tools for Mother’s Day

best-pressure-cooker-1Best Pressure

Talavera Plates

Tamale Steamer

Latin America Mothers Day
Traditions, Significance & Latin Gifts

A mother’s love knows no bounds. Motherhood transcends differences of faith, nationality, ethnicity, and cultural heritage, and unites us all as part of the human condition.

Is it any wonder that so many countries around the world have official holidays celebrating motherhood?

In Latin America, Mother’s Day is particularly popular. On the Dia de la Madre in Latin America, you won’t see the sort of sedate, perfunctory luncheons and greeting cards that are now-a-days common in the United States. Instead, you will find big parties that can take all day long!

In places like Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, and El Salvador, the  celebrations go beyond just thanking and honoring your own mother. Latinos include grandmothers and other matriarchs in the festivities, as the whole family shows their gratitude for the strong women who bind them all together.

Mother’s Day in Latin American Countries

Latin America Mother's Day

While most countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, Mexico and El Salvador use a fixed date, May 10.

Did you know that when May 10 falls on a weekday, the people of El Salvador often close the schools and take time off of work so that everyone can travel to visit their mothers?  Now that’s dedication!

In Mexico, Mother’s Day celebrations begin on May 9, or “Mother’s Day Eve” when children traditionally gather in their mother’s home for a visit.

The next morning, the children wake their mothers with singing and accompany them to a special mass honoring one of the most important mothers of all time–the Virgin Mary.  After mass, moms get to breakfast on tamales and atole.

If it is a school day, the mothers will enjoy a special performance in their honor at their children’s school, including singing, dancing, and skits.

In Latin America, Mothers day is an opportunity for kids to treat their moms to a meal at a nice restaurant and plenty of flowers and heartfelt gifts.

Moms are so accustomed to taking care of everyone else all the time that it can be hard to get them to take a day off for themselves!

For example, in Cuba, a group of mothers known as the Damas de Blanco or The Ladys in White, hold a peaceful demonstration each week, including on Mother’s Day, to protest the political imprisonment of their sons, brothers, and husbands.

Latin Decor & Handcrafted Jewelry for Mom

Artisan jewelry silver pendantsArtisan Jewelry
Silver Pendants

Latin Home Decor Latin
Home Decor

Dichroic Glass JewelryMexican Dichroic
Glass Jewelry

Latina moms love to take care of themselves and if you look carefully you can see lots of us wearing handmade jewelry. Why is that? Well, I think is in our personality to adorn ourselves.

Latinas enjoy giving and receiving gifts. We are social and very much
into sharing. Some of the best handcrafted jewelry comes from Latin American countries and it is made by our Latino artisans.

Artisan jewelry including silver pendants.  or special pieces like dichroic glass jewelry from Mexico are some of the best examples.

If Latino handmade jewelry is not a choice try something for home. Handmade alpaca blankets, Mexican rugs or family photographs especially framed are good choices.

Latin Kitchen Tools for Mother’s Day

best-pressure-cooker-1Best Pressure

Talavera Plates

Tamale Steamer

Yes, many of us like to cook, even though we admit not being perfect at it. What is certain is that we need the right tools for preparing the best dishes we hold dearly in our hearts like tamales.

To make excellent tamales you must own the right tamale steamer, and to make the deliciosos frijoles owning the best pressure cooker makes the job a breeze.

Some people say that one of the reasons for loving our mothers so much in Latin American countries is because life in these countries can be very challenging.

Many Latin mothers raise children alone in difficult economic circumstances, sacrificing a lot and working their fingers to the bone to make sure their kids get everything they need. Their entire lives are truly a labor of love for their children!

Latin America Mother’s Day is a very special chance to say thank you, whether it is with a bunch of flowers, a special gift, a traditional song, or just a simple hug and kiss, whatever makes your own irreplaceable mother feel loved and appreciated!