Here’s a little history on Mexican Mother’s Day.
“In Mexico, the government of Álvaro Obregón imported the Mother’s Day holiday from the US in 1922, and the newspaper Excélsior held a massive promotional campaign for the holiday that year.The conservative government tried to use the holiday to promote a more conservative role for mothers in families, but that perspective was criticized by the socialists as promoting an unrealistic image of a woman who was not good for much more than breeding.
In the mid-1930s the leftist government of Lázaro Cárdenas promoted the holiday as a “patriotic festival”. The Cárdenas government tried to use the holiday as a vehicle for various efforts: to stress the importance of families as the basis for national development; to benefit from the loyalty that Mexicans felt towards their mothers; to introduce new morals to Mexican women; and to reduce the influence that the church and the Catholic right exerted over women.The government sponsored the holiday in the schools. However, ignoring the strict guidelines from the government, theatre plays were filled with religious icons and themes. Consequently, the “national celebrations” became “religious fiestas” despite the efforts of the government.
Soledad Orozco García, the wife of President Manuel Ávila Camacho, promoted the holiday during the 1940s, resulting in an important state-sponsored celebration.The 1942 celebration lasted a full week and included an announcement that all women could reclaim their pawned sewing machines from the Monte de Piedad at no cost.
Due to Orozco’s promotion, the catholic National Synarchist Union (UNS) took heed of the holiday around 1941. Shop-owner members of the Party of the Mexican Revolution (now the Institutional Revolutionary Party) observed a custom allowing women from humble classes to pick a free Mother’s Day gift from a shop to bring home to their families. The Synarchists worried that this promoted both materialism and the idleness of lower classes, and in turn, reinforced the systemic social problems of the country.Currently this holiday practice is viewed as very conservative, but the 1940s’ UNS saw Mother’s Day as part of the larger debate on the modernization that was happening at the time.This economic modernization was inspired by US models and was sponsored by the state. The fact that the holiday was originally imported from the US was seen as evidence of an attempt at imposing capitalism and materialism in Mexican society.
The UNS and the clergy of the city of León interpreted the government’s actions as an effort to secularize the holiday and to promote a more active role for women in society. They concluded that the government’s long term goal was to cause women to abandon their traditional roles at home in order to spiritually weaken men.They also saw the holiday as an attempt to secularize the cult to the Virgin Mary, inside a larger effort to dechristianize several holidays. The government sought to counter these claims by organizing widespread masses and asking religious women to assist with the state-sponsored events in order to “depaganize” them.The clergy preferred to promote the 2nd July celebration of the Santísima Virgen de la Luz, the patron of León, Guanajuato, in replacement of Mother’s Day.In 1942, at the same time as Soledad’s greatest celebration of Mother’s Day, the clergy organized the 210th celebration of the Virgin Mary with a large parade in León.
Today the “Día de las Madres” is an unofficial holiday in Mexico held each year on 10 May, because it’s the date when it was first celebrated in Mexico.”
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.
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