Mother’s Day Celebrations in Colombia: Traditions and Interesting Facts

Last updated on June 18th, 2024 at 09:13 am

Mother’s Day in English, or “Día de la Madre,” in Spanish, is a heartfelt celebration observed across Latin America with a particular vibrancy in Colombia. This day dedicated to honoring mothers and grandmothers holds a special place in the hearts of many Colombian families, intertwining local customs with influences from around the world.

At Remitly, we know how important mothers are to our Colombian customers, so we created this guide to honor them and the traditions of this celebration.

Mother’s Day in Colombia

In Colombia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, aligning with the American tradition and many other countries including Canada, Japan, and Australia. The day is not a public holiday, but it’s marked by family gatherings and cultural festivities. Unlike in the U.S. where flowers and cards are common gifts, Colombian Mother’s Day celebrations are often more elaborate.

Traditional Celebrations for Mother’s Day by City

Bogotá and Medellín

In Bogotá and Medellín, particularly in the region of Antioquia, Mother’s Day is celebrated with music, dance, and abundant food. Families typically gather at a relative’s home to share a meal, with traditional dishes like bandeja paisa or ajiaco being favorites. Children and adults present their mothers and grandmothers with gifts, often including handcrafted items, flower bouquets, jewelry, and Mariachis.

Cali and Cartagena

Moving towards the more tropical regions such as Cali and the Caribbean-influenced city of Cartagena, the celebrations typically extend into the local streets with parades and salsa music. It’s common to see entire communities come together to celebrate the mothers of their families.

Barranquilla and Santa Marta

In the coastal cities of Barranquilla and Santa Marta, Mother’s Day is infused with the vibrant spirit of the Caribbean. The celebrations are often marked by colorful street fairs where families can enjoy local crafts, foods, and performances. Music from local bands fills the air, and it’s common to see children performing dances and songs as tributes to their mothers.

Bucaramanga and Pereira

In the cities of Bucaramanga and Pereira, the celebrations tend to be more subdued but equally heartfelt. In Bucaramanga, known for its beautiful parks, many families take advantage of the pleasant weather to have picnics and outdoor gatherings.

Pereira, with its rich coffee culture, sees many of its cafes hosting special brunches and musical events, providing a perfect setting for families to toast to the health and happiness of their mothers with a cup of the region’s finest coffee.

Pasto and Popayán

Further south, in the historical cities of Pasto and Popayán, Mother’s Day blends indigenous and colonial traditions. In Pasto, known for its Black and White Carnival, the artistic expressions seen during Mother’s Day include intricate chalk drawings and flower arrangements. Popayán, renowned for its colonial architecture and religious fervor, often sees special church services dedicated to motherhood, followed by communal meals where families share traditional dishes like tamal de pipián and empanadas de viento.

These diverse celebrations across Colombia highlight the universal love and respect for mothers, each city adding its own local flavor and traditions to make Mother’s Day a memorable occasion.

Mother’s Day Celebrations in Other South American Countries

Mother’s Day across Latin America shares similar fervor, although the date of celebration can vary. For instance, in Argentina and Uruguay, the day is observed on the third Sunday of October, while Venezuela and Ecuador celebrate it on the same day as Colombia and the United States.

Unique Celebrations in Nearby Countries

  • Mexico and El Salvador: Mother’s Day is fixed on May 10th, regardless of the day of the week. In these countries, the celebration can include serenades with Mariachi bands singing “Las Mañanitas” to honor mothers.
  • Brazil: Known as “Dia das Mães,” Mother’s Day in Brazil is one of the most commercially significant days and involves large family barbecues and gatherings.
  • Chile and Peru: In Chile, Mother’s Day is sometimes celebrated with a special church service followed by festivals, while Peru, having a strong indigenous influence, sees local traditions playing a significant role in the celebrations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest holidays in Colombia (along with Christmas and Easter). Here’s more about how it’s celebrated there.

Is Mother’s Day a public holiday across Latin America?

No, Mother’s Day is generally not a public holiday in Latin American countries, including Colombia. However, it is widely recognized and celebrated across the region.

How do Colombian Mother’s Day celebrations compare to those in Europe?

In Europe, countries like Spain, France, and Italy also celebrate Mother’s Day, typically on the last Sunday of May, except in Spain where it’s the first Sunday of May. The European celebrations are often less flamboyant than those in Colombia, focusing more on intimate family gatherings and the giving of flowers, especially carnations, which are considered a symbol of motherhood.

How much do Colombians typically spend on Mother’s Day?

Expenditures can vary widely, but many Colombians invest in meaningful gifts and celebrations, sometimes spending upwards of several hundred USD, especially when large family gatherings are involved.

What are some typical gifts given on Mother’s Day in Colombia?

Gifts typically include flowers, custom jewelry, and personal items like perfumes or clothing. Handmade gifts are particularly valued for their personal touch. Our customers send money to their mothers as a gesture of love, affection, and appreciation.


Mother’s Day in Colombia is a vivid tapestry of love, respect, and celebration. It reflects not only the cultural richness of Colombia but also the shared values across Latin America. Whether through lavish gifts, sumptuous meals, or simple, heartfelt notes, saying “Happy Mother’s Day” in Colombia resonates with a deep appreciation for the mothers and grandmothers who shape and enrich Colombian lives.

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