Dominican Mother’s Day, known in Spanish as Día de la Madre, is one of the most festive days of spring. On the last Sunday of May, Dominicans around the country come together to celebrate motherhood with gifts, flowers, and delicious food. Those who live away from the island may send money home to fund gatherings and special meals.
While it’s not a public holiday, el Día de las Madres suggests a day of pampering, relaxation, and appreciation for mothers from Santo Domingo to Santiago de los Caballeros and beyond.
When Is Mother’s Day in the Dominican Republic?
Dominican Mother’s Day always falls on the last Sunday of May. The Dominican Republic shares its Mother’s Day celebrations with only seven other countries: Algeria, Haiti, France, Mauritius, Morocco, Sweden, and Tunisia.
Many other countries across the globe, including the United States and Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and South American countries like Peru and Colombia, commemorate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of the month.
Yet other countries in North Africa and Southwest Asia celebrate on the fourth Sunday of Lent, while Thailand’s Mother’s Day falls in mid-August.
How Is Dominican Mother’s Day Celebrated?
Beyond the date, Mother’s Day is about more than sending a greeting card and sitting down for brunch. It’s common for the entire extended family to meet and celebrate mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers! Together, families eat, dance, drink, listen to music, and just have an all around good time.
Mouth-watering traditional food is another reason to love this special occasion. Family members may often cook for their mothers and wives to show appreciation. Some all-time favorites of Dominican cuisine are:
- La bandera dominicana (an array of rice, beans, and chicken)
- El sancocho
- Chivo guisado picante
- Habichuelas con dulce
- Dulce de coco tierno
Dominicans also enjoy finding meaningful Mother’s Day gifts that their loved one will cherish and enjoy. Flowers are particularly popular. And while carnations are technically the official flower of the holiday, many Mother’s Day bouquets also include roses or orchids.
Other gift ideas include jewelry, gift cards for a spa, traditional arts and crafts work, and trips to visit family abroad.
Expats and immigrants living abroad can still enjoy the special occasion. Despite the pandemic and distance, Dominicans have found ways to send local deliveries of gifts, flowers, or money. And with the online tools available today, many can still celebrate with family through video calls.
Given that Mother’s Day is on a Sunday every year, it’s often common for families to attend mass or religious service. They may also pray to the Virgin Mary to commemorate the holiday.
Mother’s Day isn’t just a national holiday or special occasion—it’s an important family holiday. That’s why we asked some of our customers in New York, who send with us to the Dominican Republic, about their amazing mothers.
“My mother is strong, a goddess, affectionate. She’s always believed in me and pampered me. When she was still alive, we brought her flowers, her favorite music, and food,” says Kilsy H.
Other Dominicans, like Frida F., remember baking cakes every weekend with her mother. She recalls Mother’s Day as being a large family gathering at her mother’s house, where they would drink coffee together and talk. “This year, I plan to bring her to New York and take her out to eat,” explains Frida. “If she can’t make it, then I’ll send some money as a present.”
Frida isn’t alone. Carmen P. is also hoping to fly her mother from Santo Domingo for a visit to celebrate the holiday.
For Kilsy F., her mother is an intuitive caregiver, and excellent chef. “She always makes us laugh,” says Kilsy. “My mother doesn’t like to go out to eat on Mother’s Day. So, my brother, father, my kid, and I make her a meal. We also bring her flowers.”
John B. is excited to celebrate his mother this year, as she turns 103! The entire family goes to John’s house to celebrate, and they make a delicious meat stew, Dominican sancocho.
For Carol H., the holiday is also a special occasion for a family reunion. “We usually celebrate in New York, with three generations under one roof,” says Carol. “Sometimes we also go out to eat, or buy my mom flowers. It all depends on what she wants to do.”
Mother’s Day celebrations, whether you are in the Dominican Republic or abroad, can vary far and wide. But one thing remains the same—love for one’s family.
Happy Mother’s Day
From all of us at Remitly, we wish you a happy Mother’s Day! No matter how far you are from home, sending gifts to your mom is easier than ever.
At Remitly, we make money transfers to the Dominican Republic fast, secure, and affordable. You can send funds to a bank account in the Dominican Republic, for home delivery, or for cash pick-up.