Mother’s day is approaching and we are taking all week on our social media to highlight the mothers and women in our lives that have fiercely given us love and devotion to help us become who we are today. While Mother’s day is truly every single day, it’s fun to set aside a special day for them. Did you know that even though Mother’s Day as we know it now has only officially been celebrated around the world for about a century, many Latinx and African cultures have had rich traditions in celebrating motherhood since practically forever?
For example for hundreds of years the Yoruba people of West Africa hold the Gelede festival celebrating awon iya wa or “the primordial mother” and consider their women to hold the secrets of life and revere them like goddesses.
Another interesting place to look at historical celebrations of mothers is in Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, Mexican society was built around powerful matriarchs — and the pantheon of deities was filled with strong goddesses. In Mayan civilization, the goddess Ix Chel played an enormously important role as a symbol of fertility and motherhood. The ancient Sacred Mayan Journey was a 36-mile pilgrimage that the dedicated made in hand carved canoes in order to consult Ix Chel and gain her favor. Today, in Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, the experience is recreated every year at a festival called the Sacred Mayan Journey. It is one big celebration of motherhood!
Take some time to make sure you let your mom, auntie, grandma, all your special women that they are cherished, loved, and appreciated.