Love for Mexico

Celebrating Mothers' Day Mexico-Style May 08 2019, 0 Comments

By Julie R Butler

Mexico celebrates Día de la Madre on Friday, 10 May, 2019, while in the United States, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, May 12th this year. Only occasionally do the two countries observe the holiday together on the same day, when the 10th falls on the second Sunday in May. The last time it happened was in 2015, and it will happen again in 2020.

Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

My First Día de la Madre in Mexico

The first time I was in Mexico for Día de la Madre, I had a magical experience!

On 9 May, my traveling partner and I drove from Palenque, Chiapas, to Catemaco, Veracruz. Intrigued by this lake town that’s famous for brujería, I was ready for something strange and wonderful to happen there.

Catemaco

After getting settled into our site at the campground in Catemaco, we were surprised to see the travelers we had said goodbye to that same morning in Palenque arriving. They were supposed to have gone to Mexico City, whereas we were heading north by more or less following the Gulf Coast. Well, apparently they’d been distracted and had missed their turnoff. But regardless of the reason, our unexpected reunion called for a celebration, and celebrate we did!

Later that night, I was awaken by the sounds of a small group of mariachis wafting gently to my ears from somewhere not too far away. I will never forget it. The music was so cheerful and sweet, it was a joy to hear it breaking through the stillness of the night, although I had no idea why they were out serenading in the streets at that late hour. I was absolutely enchanted.

When I mentioned the music to the others in our little group the next morning, however, they all thought I must have dreamed the whole thing, because I was the only one who had heard the mysterious nighttime strains. It had seemed so vivid; but then again, maybe it had been the beers. The experience had such an ephemeral quality to it that I was half convinced it had just been a lovely dream. Or perhaps it was the effect of some lingering witchcraft...

Well, it wasn’t until later that day, when we went into a grocery store in Xalapa, where we were visiting friends, that we discovered it was Día de la Madre because of all the cakes. It took a moment to register the fact that in Mexico, Mother’s Day is connected to a specific date and can occur midweek instead of always being on the second Sunday of the month, as in the States. But then it all clicked: I hadn’t just dreamed up that whimsical musical interlude after all. It had been a serenade for the mothers of Catemaco that began just after midnight!

Día de la Madre in Mexico

Día de la Madre in Mexico isn’t much different from holidays honoring mothers everywhere else in the world, with gifts, cards, and cakes, spending time together, or simply giving mom a day off. Except, of course, there’s a special song for the occasion that gives Día de la Madre in Mexico a distinctly Mexican flavor.

Here is the traditional version of Las Mañanitas to start your Día de la Madre celebration out right:


 

And here is something contemporary, with a bit of humor to keep your Mother’s Day light-hearted and fun:

 

In case you're looking for a last-minute gift for Mothers' Day, Shoptezuma is running a 20% off promotion across the store, but hurry up, we're only a few days away!

¡Feliz Día de la Madre a todos!

 

JULIE R BUTLER IS A FREELANCE WRITER AND EDITOR LIVING IN PÁTZCUARO, MICHOACÁN. SHE HAS 20-PLUS YEARS' EXPERIENCE EXPLORING MÉXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA, ARGENTINA, AND URUGUAY. IN ADDITION TO WRITING ABOUT THE WONDERS OF LIVING IN MÉXICO, SHE SPECIALIZES NEW TECHNOLOGIES – PARTICULARLY, HYDROPONICS AND SMART-CITY TECH. ONLINE PORTFOLIO: HTTPS://JULIERBUTLER.CONTENTLY.COM/