Posted on by Chad F.

Mother’s Day in Costa Rica is celebrated on August 15th. Coincidentally, or not, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (a Catholic feast) coincides with Mother’s Day. On this day, goodies including but not limited to flowers and gifts are showered upon mothers in a time-honored celebration. Family members may choose to cook at home, giving mom the day off, or take her out for a special meal at her favorite restaurant.

Tradition Is a Cornerstone of Costa Rican Society

In virtually every Costa Rica household, when it comes to family ties and tradition, most evident is the role of the mother. This society revolves around customs that have been in place for hundreds of years. No mother shall go unrecognized on this, one of the most significant of special days. Depending on a family’s circumstances, be they humble or upwardly elite, celebrations take place in various manners.

Is the Holiday Too Commercialized?

Over time, as is the case with many holidays, Mother’s Day observances have fallen victim to “sensibilities” characterized by North Americans. In some cases, much of the spiritual significance that this culture once placed on Mother’s Day has been lost. Back in the day, Mother’s Day specials offered by restaurants, expensive gifts, elaborate bouquets, and cards were simply unheard of. Many of the region’s mothers consider beauty days at the spa or microwave ovens too extravagant and overdone.

Mom Should Get What Mom Deserves

Though Costa Rican moms may not always express a desire for flashy recognition on this special day, the fact remains that women rule the roost in Costa Rica. Frequently, the male offspring of the family are tied to their mother’s apron strings well into adulthood, going so far as to live at home (until they marry) long past the time when American civilization deems appropriate. And whereas Father’s Day is recognized by most in the region, it is not an official holiday, as is Mother’s Day in Costa Rica.

Are Times Changing For Mothers?

Though still the matriarch of a family that depends on her ability, strength of character, and leadership, women’s roles in Costa Rica are changing. Forsaking their old-school role as a homemaker, many of the women in the region have become more career minded and progressive in their way of thinking. They have advanced their equal rights and seek higher levels of education than ever before, many of them holding professional positions in government and business. At home, however, many of the conservative and traditional traits still apply in any number of family situations.

An Entire Country Celebrates

Both mothers and grandmothers are honored on Mother’s Day and hold positions of high honor in the Costa Rican family. Even after marrying, sons will seek the advice of their mothers and grandmothers. The entire country, in fact, views Mother’s Day as an essential holiday. This is evidenced by companies holding Mother’s Day parties for their female staff and giving the family holiday nearly the same importance as religious holidays like Easter and Christmas, some closing for business for the day. Schools also routinely organize specific celebrations for grandmothers and mothers on or around Mother’s Day in Costa Rica.

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