Mother’s Day, or Dia de la Madre, is an important holiday in Costa Rica. It falls on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, which for Catholics marks the day that the Virgin Mary ascended to Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
Costa Rica is a predominately Catholic country, and its society revolves around tradition and family ties. It makes sense that these two holidays would merge as the mother is the central figure that binds households as well as generations.
Mother’s Day is a national holiday, with government offices, banks, schools and most businesses closed for the day. Workers are allowed to take the day off with no repercussions, and if work is accepted on this day, the worker is paid double.
The holiday often culminates in a large household celebration, with a special dinner and a shower of gifts for the mothers of the family. Some Costa Ricans bemoan the commerciality of the day which has spread from the U.S., evident in the “Mother’s Day” sales and specials offered by local establishments.
However, one thing remains abundantly clear, visible in the eyes of children of all ages. In Costa Rica, one day is hardly enough to demonstrate the gratitude for lifetime of love.
Happy Mother’s Day!