Mother’s Day in Costa Rica
The idea of Mother’s Day was first proposed by Anna Jarvis in 1907 and was originally intended as a day to honor mothers who had lost their children through death or illness. The United States celebrates it on the second Sunday of May, while Costa Rica celebrates it on the second Sunday of May.
Mother’s Day is a day to honor mothers and their contributions to society. It is celebrated annually in many countries around the world on different dates.
In Costa Rica…
Mother’s Day is celebrated as a national holiday. The day was declared by law on November 27, 1997. It was first celebrated in 1998 and has been celebrated every year since then. The celebration is not only for mothers but also for all women who have contributed to the welfare of their children and home.
The celebration of Mother’s Day in Costa Rica dates back to a proclamation made by President Rafael Ángel Calderón (1978-1982) on October 13, 1978 that would establish this day as a national holiday. However, it was not until November 27, 1997 when President Miguel Angel Rodriguez (1994-1998) declared the day as an official holiday that it became part of Costa Rican culture.
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on August 15, a date chosen by the Catholic Church to commemorate the ascension of the mother of Christ to heaven, which is why this day was chosen in Costa Rica to celebrate mothers.
A mandatory paid holiday
Mother’s Day in Costa Rica is considered a mandatory paid holiday as stipulated in Article 148 of the Labor Code.
The company that has a weekly payment method, where only the days actually worked are paid, will be obliged to add the payment in a simple manner if this date is not worked.
When the company has a biweekly or monthly payment method, if the date is not worked, it will only be paid in a simple manner (already recognized in the monthly salary). If the company requires the employees to work this holiday, the company must make the corresponding payment adjustment so that the employee receives double payment.
The true meaning of this day
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate mothers and motherhood. It is also a day to rebel against patriarchy and its domination over women.
By 1920, Anna Jarvis became aware of the widespread commercialization of her mother’s idea and voiced her disagreement as deviant, to the point that she was once arrested for “disturbing the peace because of her noisy demonstrations.” She and her sister used her heritage to campaign against commercial Mother’s Day celebrations because of the negative symbolism and contrary to their origin.
The magic of patriarchy managed to turn what was born in rebellion against domination into an instrument of more oppression. Flowers, outings to restaurants, serenades and gifts replaced what its founders wanted for the women of their time: peace, participation, solidarity, understanding.
That is, mothers are often seen as a symbol of fertility, peace and security. In that sense, Mother’s Day is not only about celebrating mothers, but also about protesting against violence against women. It is about solidarity with all those who are denied their rights as mothers and those who are denied their rights because they are mothers.
Let us remember
Violence and discrimination against women is a global problem.
The problem of violence in Costa Rica has grown in recent years due to the high level of impunity for these crimes. In 2017, 4,611 cases of domestic violence were reported in Costa Rica, an increase from the 3,503 cases reported in 2016 (an increase of 23%). In 2021, according to the latest classification of the Inter-institutional Subcommission for the Prevention of Femicide, made on June 22, 2022, out of a total of 63 violent deaths of women occurred, there were 18 femicides; and 18 homicides but which are not femicides.
Violence against women takes many forms: physical, sexual, psychological, verbal or economic abuse. In many cases, the aggressor is someone known to the woman.
- Mother’s Day is celebrated as a national holiday. The day was declared by law on November 27, 1997.
- The celebration of Mother’s Day in Costa Rica dates back to a proclamation made by President Rafael Angel Calderon.
- The magic of patriarchy managed to turn what arose in rebellion against domination into an instrument of further oppression, with the acquiescence of those affected.
- Mother’s Day is not only about celebrating mothers, but also about protesting against violence against women.
Zelda Walters for Sensorial Sunsets