Today is Dia de la Madre, or mother's day here in Panamá. Unlike the U.S. where it seems to be one of those days created by the greeting card companies just to sell more cards, here it's a National Holiday. Some businesses will be closed today giving employees the day off to honor their Moms.
Panamá began honoring its Moms some 86 years ago on May 11, 1924. Initiated by the Rotary Club who contacted authorities suggesting the day be turned into a holiday in honor of Mothers. Officials approved the holiday and it was originally celebrated on May 11th until December 8,1930. On that day a bunch of society ladies sent a letter to the first lady of President Harmodio Arosemena suggesting that December 8th be declared a National Holiday in honor of the Immaculate Conception.
It was because of this suggestion that members of the National Assembly of Panamá passed Law 69, declaring December 8th a national holiday. This special day honors the Immaculate Conception along with Mothers Day until 6pm this evening. Celebrated with masses, parties and other events, Mom's are lavished with gifts and hopefully given some time to relax.
Handmade signs are in stores everywhere pointing out special gifts for "Dia de la Madre." Even our local dollar store called "Toda a Dolár" featured gifts for Mom. A front end cap displayed baskets made in the stores and filled with nail polish, soaps and other gifty items. Slippers, perfumes and other girly items were nearby too enticing shoppers to pick up a little something for that special lady.
I had to smile when I read that May 11th was the original date of Mother's Day here because it was also a type of mothers day to me. It was the day that my one and only daughter Desireé was born way back in 1981. Sometimes her birthday falls on Mother's Day in the states and we'd get to celebrate a special day together. But since we live in Panamá now perhaps I should be honored on both the Panamanian Mothers Day and the American holiday too?
As for us we'll spend a quiet day at home today enveloped in the warmth of the tropical breezes in whatever we do....along the gringo trail.