Today’s legal holiday is steeped with tradition

Today is a legal holiday, the Día de la Madre, which coincides with the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

The tradition is to buy gifts for Mother, attend Mass and treat her to a fancy lunch or dinner.

The dominance of the mother in the Costa Rican family has much to do with the machismo of the males and the freedom to roam that he enjoys. That has been the tradition since the Spanish arrival. In addition, about 20 percent of the families now have no male parent, so the role of the mother is magnified.

In Costa Rica it is the mother who keeps the family together and functioning, and she is rewarded on this day.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional prepared a special forecast. Rain is expected this morning on the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone. There also is a good chance of continued high winds in the 60 kph range, about 37 to 40 mph.

More clouds than rain is expected in the Central Valley, and on the Pacific coast there may be some clear skies. Winds are expected in the northern Pacific.

Although most of the celebration centers around the family, there are some public events.

In honor of today’s Mother’s Day celebration, a weekend’s worth of orchestras will play concerts throughout Costa Rica. Seven groups from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud will continue to perform the free shows that began Thursday.

In Limón, the Banda de Conciertos de Limón will play a Saturday show at the Guácimo gymnasium at 6 p.m. and a Sunday show at the Limón cathedral at 7:30 p.m. The group’s director, Ana Pamela Goyenaga, said that local singer Fernando Castro from the group Vía Libre would be accompanying the band on stage.

It’s the first time we’ve done a concert with this group, which has hits like ‘Flores de papel.’

“ ‘Recuérdame’ and ‘Serenata,’ among others,” she said. Each mother who attends the concert will be given a rose, a ministry release said.

The Banda de Heredia will also be playing a Sunday concert at the central park in the Ciudad de las Flores, as it is called, at 10 a.m. On the same day, the ministry’s band in San José will take its talents to Alajuelita to play a show dedicated to mother’s at the Catholic church at 1 p.m.

The association with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not a coincidence. The Virgin is the patroness of the country, and she, too, witnesses some difficult motherhood experiences. In Catholic teaching, Mary, like Jesus, was assumed body and soul into Heaven. There is theological uncertainty as to whether she died first.

The 'Assumption of the Virgin' by Peter Paul Rubens. Costa Rican mothers sometimes are considered nearly as heavenly.

The ‘Assumption of the Virgin’ by Peter Paul Rubens. Costa Rican mothers sometimes are considered nearly as heavenly.

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