U.S. Hispanics and Mother’s Day: Two Opportunities for Celebration
May 09, 2014 Joe.Ray Multicultural Marketing
Mother’s Day. El Día de la Madre.
It’s a day when we honor and celebrate that special bond of motherhood and love. Not just our own mothers, but all women who are mothers and mother figures. We all know it’s a day where we do something special, or at the very least we wish someone a Happy Mother’s Day verbally or in a note, card, email, text, etc.
Here in the U.S., we celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. The actual date will vary (this year it’s May 11), but it’s always on that second Sunday. Many U.S. Latinos have the opportunity to celebrate/observe the holiday twice.
Like many Latinos, I grew up observing Mother’s Day twice. In addition to the second Sunday, we also observed it on May 10, which is the traditional Mother’s Day in Mexico. Although my mother has since passed, I continue to call my family in Mexico, and here in the U.S. to wish them a Feliz Día de La Madre on May 10. It’s a tradition I continue with now and forever will.
The majority of those of Mexican descent, and other Latinos that I know also do the same. It’s a tradition that stems from our culture. It’s about the respect and honoring of motherhood, regardless of acculturation levels.
Several Latin American countries also observe Mother’s Day on May’s second Sunday. These countries include Puerto Rico and Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, and Venezuela.
In addition to Mexico’s observance of May 10, here are some dates which other countries in Latin America celebrate Mother’s Day:
El Salvador and Guatemala also celebrate on May 10
Spain: the 1st Sunday in May
Paraguay: May 15 (also Día de la Patria)
Dominican Republic: always last Sunday in May
Bolivia: May 27
Nicaragua: May 30
Argentina: 3rd Sunday in October
Costa Rica: August 15 (also the Assumption of Mary)
Panama: December 8 (also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
As you can see, the dates of this wonderful holiday vary from place to place. Some countries such as Paraguay tie Mother's day in with religious holidays or the observance of Independence Day. Some dates are set in stone, while others fall on a specific Sunday of the month.
Regardless of acculturation and how much a “part” of the American Latino audience one may be, many Latinos continue to honor family and cultura through this holiday. We enjoy celebrations and the role of a mother is a role worth celebrating. This tradition gives reason to engage with Latinos on a deeper level. What opportunities do you think exist to engage Latinos on this day? Or days?
You can say that everyone (regardless of culture) honors their mothers, but culturally, we get to do so twice each year.
This also gives organizations two additional opportunities as opposed to just one, to engage with U.S. Latinos.
Just remember, we’re not all the same, nor do we all celebrate the same days, or the same way.
¡Feliz Día de las Madres 2014!
Joe Ray is Vice President of Multicultural Strategy at LaneTerralever, a full service marketing and advertising agency with offices in Phoenix and Denver.