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Dia de la Madre or Mother’s day in Costa Rica is the holiday of all holidays, a major national holiday when mothers are showered with gifts and flowers, many are taken out to their favourite restaurant for a special meal, reinforcing the cornerstone of Costa Rica society that revolves around tradition and family ties.

In Costa Rica, Mother’s Day is a big deal, as government offices, banks, schools and most businesses close for the day, for about the only commercial activity is retail stores and malls open to cash in on the gift buying and restaurants.

Those required to work on this day receive double pay. Mother’s Day is also one of the few holidays where workers are not obligated to work, that is, if asked they can say no and without any recourse. Workers can also refuse to have another day off in lieu of working on Mother’s Day.

To celebrate Dia de la Madre, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rica Tourism Board – is promoting national travel, with deals and discounts all over the country. According ICT assistant marketing director, Ireth Rodriguez, the idea is to give Costa Rican families the opportunity to travel and sightsee on this special day.

Hotels and tour operators are also offering discounts ranging from 10% to 50% off normal rates.

The national lottery is also holding a special Dia de la Madre draw with a first prize of more than ¢250 million colones, that will take place on Sunday, August 18.

The Teatro Nacional (National Theatre) in San José is holding a special program for Mother’s Day, with a special noon presentation that includes dance and music.

All in all, Costa Ricans take this day very seriously.

Wish your Tica friends and neighbours a “feliz dia de la madre!”