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May 5, 2014 culture, peru

Unique Mother’s Day celebrations in Peru

Peruvians are very enthusiastic about honoring Mother's Day! Learn more about their timeless traditions.
A mother and daughter on the Uros floating islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru
Photo by Dag Peak/flickr
A mother and daughter on the Uros floating islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru Photo by Dag Peak/flickr

Mother’s Day is celebrated annually throughout the world to show appreciation and love for mothers and mother figures. In Peru, they  praise and honor all mothers  on the second Sunday of each May. While some of the Peruvian Mother’s Day traditions are similar to other countries, some are very unique!

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Mothers are showered with gifts and flowers

Peruvians are extremely enthusiastic about Mother’s Day and are dedicated to making it a special occasion, closely following traditions in the United States.  Approximately 92% of Peruvians are believed to celebrate Mother’s Day:  showing their dedication, honor and love for mothers and family relations in general. Giving flowers to mothers remains to be the most important part of the celebrations , and flower sales sky rocket at this time of year.

Mothers Day Flowers A beautiful bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers Photo by Wallpaper Series

On Mother’s Day, young Peruvian children buy small gifts and cards for their mothers and read them poems. Families also get together for recreation and high tea. It is not uncommon to see children of all ages going the extra mile, organizing surprise parties, preparing special meals and taking advantage of every opportunity to make their mothers feel special .

Honoring the deceased

Some Mother’s Day traditions in Peru are however unique! One interesting place where Peruvians gather on Mother’s Day to socialize over drinks and food: the cemetery.  Indeed, Peruvians come here to honor the mother’s deceased. Thousands celebrate the mothers already passed, as it is done at El Angel Cemetario in Lima.

Mother's Day Peru Cemetery El Angel Cemetario in Lima on Mother’s Day Photo by Ric Francis

Outside the cemetery gates the streets are full of vendors selling balloons, flowers, and heart-shaped icons which read “Feliz Dia Mama” (Happy Mother’s Day in Spanish). Young and old alike can be seen at the stands, and an ambiance of warmth and positivity is everywhere. Families then enter the cemetery in search of the grave sites of their mothers, grandmothers and wives.

Lima Tours:

Families commonly hire workers on Mother’s Day to clean tomb stones and place flowers graves which are difficult to access . A common sight is men balanced on ladders against multi-level mausoleums.

Workers paid to place flowers and clean burial sites at The Angel Cemetery on Mother's Day. Workers are paid to clean and place flowers on the hard-to-reach graves at El Angel Cemetery Photo by Ric Francis

For some, Mother’s Day is all about celebrating life passed, while others focus on the importance of social gathering. Regardless of how the day is celebrated, it is difficult to find a country more dedicated to praising and celebrating mothers than Peru .

Are you celebrating Mother’s Day in Peru this year?

If you are celebrating Mother’s Day in Peru this year, you have many options! Of course you can always order flowers, but there are other possibilities too!

Here are some fun Mother’s Day suggestions in Lima :

  • Go for a stroll with your mom on the malecon
  • Eat a delicious meal at an interesting location! Lunch at the Huaca Pucllana
  • Treat your mom to delicious chocolates at Xocolatl, just off Parque Kennedy
  • Enjoy a variety of Pisco in the evening. Huaringas is a popular bar to try out!

A big thank you to mothers around the world!

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Hendrika Janssen
Hendrika Janssen
Hendrika is Belgian but she considers herself a citizen of the world as she has lived in many different countries before moving to Peru. She fell in love with South America after her first visit to the continent in Bolivia, and has since then spent a lot of time traveling in the area. She especially enjoys Peru for its diversity, delicious food, and rich history.
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