By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil, like the United States and many other countries throughout the world, celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. Dia das Mães, as the day is known here, will occur this year on May 12th and families, retailers and restaurants have already begun their preparations for the big day.

Mother's Day Red Velvet Cake, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Gringo Cafe has freshly made cakes and pies for take-home, as well as Sunday brunch, photo by the Sam Fowers.

In a country where the significance of family is undeniable and where the community functions at times as one big family with many mothers at the head, there are numerous ways to commemorate those mothers and those who serve as mother figures.

“The celebration [of Mother’s Day] is really the same [as in the United States] I think,” American expatriate and yoga instructor for Brazil Yoga Retreats, Kimberly Ann Johnson told The Rio Times. “You get together for brunch or lunch with your family, buy a small remembrance or keepsake and some flowers and share your appreciation for your mothers and grandmothers.”

For lunch on Dia das Mães many moms and families might head to Ipanema’s Gringo Café. Their family friendly atmosphere pays homage to great American diners and delis while offering menu items that include made-from-scratch favorites from home. For treats for mom, Gringo Café also has a varied dessert menu including cakes, cupcakes and pies.

For mothers who might prefer a morning at the symphony, the famous Theatro Municipal (The Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro) located in Cinelândia, will offer the program Sunday at the Muncipal.

Beginning at 11AM on Mother’s Day morning the Symphony Orchestra of Barra Mansa together with soloist, Russian pianist Vadim Rudenko, will preform the works of the great composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsy. Tickets for the event are only R$1 and can be purchased at the main entrance of the theater starting at 10AM on the 12th.

When it comes to gift giving, G1 recently reported that electronics are on the top of many Brazilian mom’s wish lists this year. According to research conducted by OH! for the online retailer Eday, 25 percent of 1,300 mothers surveyed in the Latin American countries of Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil wanted a tablet as a present on May 12th.

Rose, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News.
Flowers are a common gift given to mothers on Mother’s Day (Dia das Mães), photo by Pizzodisevo/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Forty percent of the Brazilian responders ranked a tablet as their number one choice. Smartphones ranked as the second most desired item and clothes were the third most popular choice among all responders from the four countries.

Flowers are also a favorite gift for moms and they are available for purchase in many places throughout the city of Rio; from flower stands, to the grocery store, to specialty shops.

For nature-loving mothers another idea might be a trip to Rio’s Botanical Gardens located in the neighborhood of Jardim Botânico. The garden features over 54 hectares of native Brazilian and foreign plant-life including bromeliads, orchids, and carnivorous plants. The grounds also include greenhouses, historical monuments and over 140 species of birds, making it a perfect place for an afternoon stroll and a celebration of life and of mothers.

“As a mother, I see the importance of holidays in general as a way to mark space and time for children and provide themes that often correspond with the seasons and cultural values,” said Johnson. “Mother’s Day is not that important to me, but I enjoy what it brings in terms of reflections on my daughter’s birth and life and a chance for us to revisit both.”


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