As April comes to a close, the question on everyone’s minds turns to: when is Mother’s Day and what am I getting my mom? And depending on where in the world you live, standard shipping may be out of the question. If you’re in the US, you’re probably used to having Mother’s Day brunch on the second Sunday of the month. But if you’re in Mexico? Expect to hear a Mariachi serenade moms at the dawn of May 10th for ‘Dia de las Madres’.
In addition, an even more important date for Catholics in Mexico is December 12, in which all gather to honor ‘la Virgen de Guadalupe’. Children dress up in traditional costumes and walk along with masses on pilgrimages, and attend a special service which includes the reenactment of the appearance of Virgin Guadalupe to indigenous Juan Diego.
In France ‘Fête des Mères’ falls on the last Sunday of May. But not everyone picked May to honor their moms. Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent in the UK. Countries like Macedonia celebrate moms on International Women’s Day (March 8). While many Arab nations observe ‘Marhaba’ at the bloom of Spring (March 21).
Then there are countries with combined holidays. Mongolia celebrates Mother’s and Children’s day on June 1st. Serbia’s celebrations take place in December. They begin with Children’s Day ‘Detinjci,’ followed by Mother’s ‘Materice’ and Father’s ‘Oci’ Day on consecutive Sundays. But instead of receiving gifts, the celebrated is tied up before they wake and must pay their way out with small gifts.
In the Himalayan country of Nepal, people come together to celebrate ‘Mata Tirtha Aunsi.’ Masses visit the holy ‘Mata Tirtha’ location and bathe in the sacred waters. They also perform a ritual, offering ‘Sida Daan’ (a mixture of holy rice grains and food) to honor their deceased mothers. The event falls sometime between April and May in the Gregorian calendar.
And while India follows the American date, Hindus will celebrate the Durga Puja festival in late September this year, though it sometimes falls in early October. The 10-day festival is meant to praise goddess Durga– the mother of the Universe.
Another revered goddess, ‘Pachamama’ (Mother Earth) can be found in the depths of the Andes, where indigenous groups praise her on August 1st. On ‘Día de la Pachamama’, tribes hold a ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth for all its gifts. The ritual consists of lighting a cane and rue and burry food as a way to give back.
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