By Mary Bolling Blackiston, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Dia das Mães (Mother’s Day), which will take place on Sunday, May 11th, is an important holiday in family-oriented Brazil, and one that does not go forgotten. It is so popular that Dia das Mães is the date with the most number of sales in Brazil after Christmas.
For those who will be celebrating Dia das Maes in Rio, there are a number of ways to commemorate this special day. To dine, there are plenty places to choose from, although keep in mind that it is always a good idea to make reservations in advance.
Among expatriates, many moms will likely want to go to Ipanema’s Gringo Café for some familiar tastes of home. Owner Sam Flowers says, “Celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend at Gringo Café. Start at Gringo Lounge Friday night – that’s right Mom’s party too! We’re offering a special promotion where Mom’s drink free from 7-9PM any long neck beer, Caipi or Sangria. Saturday and Sunday the celebrating continues with a free Mimosa or Sparkling Wine with brunch.”
Assuming that the weather permits, a picnic would also be a great way to celebrate, and Parque Lage, situated in the neighborhood of Jardim Botanico and home to the School of Visual Arts and a public park, is one place to go. The area in front of the mansion is the most preferable place to picnic, and if any food items are forgotten, Café du Lage in the main building offers a selection of sandwiches, muffins and more. Note that all visitors must contact the park via e-mail if they wish to have a picnic there.
As far as shopping, a favorite among Cariocas and foreigners in Rio is Gilson Martins. Store manager Marcelo Barros tells The Rio Times, “In Gilson Martins you find bags for classical and modern mothers. See the new winter collection with models for work and travel, and the new line of handbags for the World Cup.”
For those on smaller budgets, a book or CD are options. Perfume and beauty products are also options, as are clothes and jewelry. Also, hand-made gifts, such as collages, do not involve much money and still make for excellent gifts.
Many prefer to escape the crowds and celebrate Mother’s Day at home. Carioca Claudia Correia plans on going to her brother’s house, where she will have lunch with her family. As far as a gift Correia says, “Normally I am used to giving something for her to use … clothes … shoes … this year, it will be a French perfume!”
In Rio, shops are optimistic about this year’s sales, expecting to sell at least ten percent more than 2013. Because the holiday has such high sales, stores increase promotions, discounts and offer a wider diversification of products. Stores are estimating that the average price spent on gifts per person this year will be around R$160.
According to a recent survey, stores believe that clothing, footwear, handbags and accessories, jewelry, perfumes and beauty products should be the top-selling gifts. As for the top buyers, children make up 50.7 percent, mothers 16.2 percent and grandchildren 14.8 percent.