Mother's Day in Mexico: From a Newspaper to a Monument

In Mexico, Mother's Day is celebrated every year on May 10. But how was this celebration born in the country?

Mother's Day in Mexico: From a Newspaper to a Monument
After the collapse suffered during the seismic phenomenon of September 19, 2017, authorities of the Mexico City, INBA, the mayor's office in Cuauhtémoc, and neighbors of the area, reopen the sculptural ensemble Monument to the Mother, which is an important part of the cultural and artistic heritage of Mexico City. Photo: seduvi_cdmx

In Mexico, Mother's Day is celebrated every year on May 10. And on this occasion, the holiday to celebrate the work of Mexican mothers will fall on a Tuesday. But how was this day born?

The first celebrations date back to ancient civilizations. For example, in Egyptian mythology, Isis was worshipped as the "mother of all gods", while in ancient Greece celebrations were held in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods.

In the case of Mesoamerica, the Mayans worshipped Ixchel, goddess of the moon, love, fertility, and gestation, and the Mexica worshipped Tonatzin -a term used to designate different female deities- who was "the mother of all that exists". In Aztec culture, where a divinity could have different names, Coatlicue, goddess of fertility, was also called Tonatzin.

However, the contemporary origin of Mother's Day is from activist Julia Ward Howe. In 1872, Howe suggested the creation of Mother's Day as a way to unite women and advocate for peace.

However, the official recognition of Mother's Day happened in 1907 thanks to Anna Jarvis, as it was she who held the first Mother's Day in honor of her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis. In 1914, then U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Jarvis' Mother's Day as a national holiday.

Mother's Day in Mexico

In the specific case of Mexico, Mother's Day emerged in 1922 thanks to the initiative of José Vasconcelos, then-Secretary of Public Education, and Rafael Alducín, journalist and founder of the newspaper "Excelsior", who considered instituting a specific day to pay tribute to mothers.

Inspired by the celebrations in the United States, on April 13, 1922, Alducín launched a call on the front page of the newspaper to request the government to institutionalize one day a year dedicated to Mexican mothers.

According to a document published by the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing of Mexico City, the newspaper "Excelsior" published the following: "Excelsior intends that the tenth of May of every year be consecrated by the children to praise in memory or in memory of those who gave them being".

Years later, the then president of Mexico, Manuel Avila Camacho placed the first stone of the Monument to the Mother in Mexico City. The monument was inaugurated in 1949 by the president, Miguel Alemán Valdés, along with a polished bronze plaque with the phrase: "To the one who loved us before she knew us."

The earthquake of September 19, 2017, caused damage to the Monument to the Mother, so it had to be rebuilt.