How Mexico Celebrates Mother's Day

Just as in the United States, May is big for moms in Mexico. But unlike the U.S.A., Mother's Day in Mexico is celebrated every May 10.

Where would we be without our mothers?  Nowhere! If we’re being honest, moms should be celebrated every day of the year. But as it stands now, they just get one day every year — Mother’s Day. Just as in the United States, May is big for moms in Mexico. But unlike the U.S.A., Mother's Day in Mexico is celebrated every May 10, as opposed to the second Sunday in May. El Dia de la Madre is a time to give moms their due, to gather together with family and to honor the huge role mothers play in everyone’s lives. Before Mother’s Day 2019, learn about Mother’s Day in Mexico.

The Roots of Mother’s Day in Mexico

Mother’s Day in Mexico only began a little over a century ago. But that doesn’t mean that Mexicans didn’t celebrate moms. Far from it. In pre-Columbian times, Mexican society was built around powerful matriarchs — and the pantheon of deities was filled with strong goddesses. In Mayan civilization, the goddess Ix Chel played an enormously important role as a symbol of fertility and motherhood. The ancient Sacred Mayan Journey was a 36-mile pilgrimage that brave souls made in handmade canoes in order to consult the oracle of Ix Chel and gain her favor. Today, the experience is recreated every year as an interactive cultural festival in Playa del Carmen and Cozumel – the Sacred Mayan Journey. Think of it as one big celebration of motherhood!

  • Travel Tip: One of the best places to experience the Sacred Mayan Journey is the Xcaret Eco-Park, located adjacent to the all inclusive Occidental at Xcaret Destination. It’s a great trip for an adventurous mom – just saying!

Mother’s Day Comes To Mexico

Did you know? Mother’s Day in the USA was first officially celebrated in 1914, declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson. The so-called “Mother of Mother’s Day” was Anna Jarvis, who had begun commemorating her own mother a few years earlier. The tradition made it to Mexico in 1922 when journalist Rafael Alducin kicked off a nationwide movement to pay tribute to Mexican mothers. It caught on in a big way, and soon, May 10 was Mexican Mother’s Day. Why May 10? Because back in the day, the 10th of the month was “pay day” in Mexico, meaning that everyone could afford a little extra to buy mom a gift or take her out for a fancy meal. The month of May in Mexico is also devoted to one of the most famous mothers in history: the Virgin Mary.

Mexican Mother’s Day Gifts (and Songs)

Dia de las Madres is a time to shower mothers with gifts, of course. Flowers are particularly popular – the more colorful, the better! But for many Mexican moms, the most valuable gift is a little less tangible. Often, children gather outside the house on the morning of Mother’s Day to serenade mom with a song. “Las Mañanitas” is a favorite tune, with appropriate lyrics that translate to “Because today is your day, we’ve come to sing for you.” To awaken to the sound of your children singing to you (sometimes accompanied by a full mariachi band) must be the ultimate Mother’s Day experience.

The Mexican Mother’s Day Feast

Mother’s Day in Mexico is all about mom. But it’s also all about food. On the holiday, families will often gather around a feast featuring such signature Mexican dishes as mole, pozole, enchiladas, sopes, quesadillas, beef barbacoa and more. On the Yucatan Peninsula, a favorite Mother’s Day delicacy is cochinita pibil, a traditional slow-roasted pork. Of course, some families don’t want to make mom cook all day, so they take her out for a fine dining experience at a local restaurant. Word to the wise: if you’re visiting Mexico on May 10 and want to eat out, make sure to make reservations well in advance!

Mother’s Day in Mexico Experiences

So you’ve planned a trip to Mexico with your mom (or the mother of your kids) during Mother’s Day? Great job – there may be no place better to celebrate. It’s relaxing, exciting and beautiful, all at once. Here are a few fun activities to try.

  • Shopping Spree on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen – Let mom choose her own gift! 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen is a perfect place for a shopping spree, with all kinds of shops to explore, from upscale to handmade.
  • U-Spa Day – Treat mom to an indulgent and restorative treatment at one of Barceló Hotel Group’s U-Spas. Wellness is a journey at these state-of-the-art spas, offering massages, facials and much more.
  • Explore the Yucatan Peninsula’s Cenotes – An eco-adventure like no other! The Yucatan’s cenotes are natural swimming holes with crystal clear waters. A dip in a cenote is a Mother’s Day memory you and your family will never forget.
Feliz Dia de las Madres! Happy Mother’s Day!