Mother’s Day in Panama

Just about every country in the world celebrates some form of Mother’s Day. For many nations, it’s a holiday observed in May, but that’s not the case for Panama. In Panama, this holiday is observed on the 8th of December every year. Why is it placed on this date?

Well, it’s placed on this date because that happens to be the same day as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception—a holiday that celebrates one of the most famous mothers in history, the Virgin Mary. Because of this holiday’s close association with this religious feast, most activities for the day begin with a trip to church before the actual Mother’s Day celebrations can begin in earnest.

The History of Mother’s Day in Panama

Established by the Rotary Club of Panama in 1924, Mother’s Day was originally a holiday in Panama that was observed every year on May 11th. It was an important holiday, so important that President Belisario Porras declared it a public holiday.

Then in 1930, a change was made to the holiday. It was determined by the wife of Panama’s President at the time, Hercilia de Arosemena, that maybe Mother’s Day would be better observed on December 8th instead of May 11th. After all, Panama is a Roman Catholic country, so it just made sense to associate the holiday with the Holy Mother. It has been celebrated on this date ever since and has remained a public holiday through the years.

Observing Mother’s Day in Panama

Mother’s Day is celebrated in Panama much the same way as it is celebrated in other countries. Mothers receive gifts from their children, and these gifts can be anything from flowers and chocolates to poems and cards.

There is also usually a family meal of some sort where the mother is given the day off from kitchen duties, and the family prepares her a meal that she likes. Of course, before any celebrations can begin, there is always a trip to church to observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Where is it celebrated?
Panama (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 8 Sunday
Next year (2025)
December 8 Monday
Last year (2023)
December 8 Friday