Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Unlike in the United States, where Mother's Day is always the second Sunday in May, in Mexico, Mother's Day, called El Día de la Madre, is always celebrated on May 10th. And it is a very big deal. I've heard some people compare it to Christmas for Mom.
Starting in late April, restaurants start promoting their Mother's Day specials and stores start advertising deals and sales, and prominently displaying perfume, candy and flowers. So, in many ways, Mexico's El Día de la Madre celebrations are similar to Mother's Day celebrations in the United States.
But, in Mexico, Mother's Day begins with the sound of music, as children go to Mom's house early in the morning to awaken her with song. Those who can afford it hire trios or Mariachi bands to accompany them, but Mama equally welcomes children who provide the musical awakening themselves.
Many families then go to a special mass honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, who is symbolical of motherhood in Mexico. Afterwards, the children present their mothers with gifts of candy, cards or flowers.
In many families, the children will also present a little program for their mother, singing songs and perhaps offering a brief skit. Sometimes, schools sponsor programs for the mothers of the students, especially if May 10 falls on a school day. The children may dance, tell jokes and sing for the entertainment of their maternal audience.
And, just as in the United States, celebrating Mother's Day with lunch or dinner at a restaurant is common. Mexicans know to make reservations many weeks ahead of time, as the restaurants are always crowded on May 10. Those who don't reserve ahead of time bring food to their mother's home and enjoy a meal together there. Those who can't be home on Mother's Day telephone to let Mom know that she's loved.Regardless of the country or culture, the love of mothers crosses international borders. This Mother's Day, celebrated in Mexico on May 10, and on May 14 in the U.S., remember to show Mom appreciation on her special day.