Today, on the second Sunday of May – 8 May in 2011 – Brazilians are raising a glass to their mothers on O Dia das Mães.
Perhaps a fact not widely known in the UK, and while a number of countries around the world celebrate their mums in March – particularly to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March, Brazil and a whole host of nations, from Australia to Zimbabwe, toast their mums on the second Sunday of May.
The mother – mãe or mamãe – is certainly a revered figure in family life in Brazil, much more so than in other cultures, say, in Europe.
No word out of turn may be spoken about her by people outside the family.
Brazilians living abroad have been sending videos messages to their mum on Mother’s day. People like Luiz – who’s in London along with the other 160,000 allegedly living in London.
He sent his mum – Marilene – who’s back in Açailândia this message on Brazilian broadcaster Globo:
“My mother means the world to me: she’s a beautiful, young and hardworking woman. Happy Mother’s Day. Love you!”
Brazil’s first Dia das Mães was celebrated in 1918 – promoted by the Porto Alegre YMCA. It was fixed into the country’s calendar as the second Sunday of May by President Getulio Vargas, and later into the Catholic Church’s calendar in 1947.
It’s not a public holiday, but very much a commercial affair as with many countries around the world.
So – no matter what day it is – here’s to mothers around the globe…
Feliz Dia das Mães!