On May 10th in most Mexican communities, life centers around Mom. That’s because Mother’s Day in Mexico always falls on that day (rather than on the second Sunday of May, as it does in the United States, Australia, and elsewhere.)

Here’s a look at five Mother’s Day traditions from Mexico that show what a big deal the day is there.

1. It all started with a newspaper article.

Mexican Mother’s Day is thought to have started all of Latin America’s Mother’s Day traditions. In 1922, Rafael Alducin, an editor of the Mexico City newspaper El Excelsior, wrote an article encouraging the celebration of Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. Combined with a campaign by the Catholic Church and the increasing popularity of the American tradition, May 10 was soon declared the official Mother’s Day for Latin America.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, the representation of the Virgin Mary often seen as Mexico’s spiritual mother, is invoked at a special Mass on Mother’s Day. She has her own day on December 12, as well.

2. Multinationals often celebrate twice.

Families of Latin American heritage in the United States or Canada often end up celebrating Mother’s Day twice — once on their resident country’s Mother’s Day and again on May 10th.

As journalist Ismael Perez wrote in a moving tribute for the Chicago Sun-Times, his mother “usually receives two cakes for Mother’s Day in May.”

Assistant director of the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center, Maria Miranda, tells the Arizona Republic, “you have your Latino heritage, but we’re also members of this American society… the moms here are also expecting a second Mother’s Day.”

The result? Two Mother’s Day celebrations with double the flowers and the food.

3. You can’t forget the serenade.

From the moment moms awaken on the special day, they’re the center of everyone’s focus. The celebration starts first thing in the morning, sometimes with music. In fact, according to NPR, Mother’s Day is one of the year’s busiest days for mariachi bands.

The playlist usually includes “Las Mañanitas,” which is also the traditional birthday song in Mexico.

4. Mother’s Day is an occasion for feasting and flowers.

Traditional foods, like pozole, enchiladas, mole, or the Yucatan’s cochinita pibil, are all favorites on El Dia de la Madre.

Flowers are expected and beloved on Mother’s Day, too, with Mexico City’s Jamaica flower market bustling with crowds in advance of May 10th. The market is so popular, it was temporarily closed in May of 2020 to discourage crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

5. Gifts make a difference, no matter how small.

No matter where you find yourself on Mother’s Day, it’s easier than ever to send your mom a gift.

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