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Mar 11, 2014
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Holidays & Events in Mexico
January Events in Mexico
New Year's Day - January 1st. A national holiday, and a day of celebrations, parties and festivals. Check locally to see what specific activities are planned.
Dia de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) - January 6th. This is the day that gifts are traditionally exchanged (in the way we exchange presents on Christmas day) as it represents the day that the three Kings arrived at the Nativity to give their gifts to the baby Jesus. This is also a day when Rosca de los Reyes (King's Loaf) is served, a round, doughnut-like cake, which contains a little plastic doll somewhere inside. By tradition, if you are served the slice that contains the doll, you must host a party on Dia de la Candelaria in February.
February Events in Mexico
Dia de la Candelaria - February 2nd. This day is celebrated nationally with dance, food and music as well as other local festivities to mark the passing of winter. Those who were served the plastic doll in their Three Kings Loaf (see January) will host a party on this day, serving the Mexican drink of Atole and the typical Mexican food of Tamales.
Dia de la Constitucion - February 5th. Constitution Day. Marks the day Mexico drew up and enacted its new Constitution as a free nation. Public and Bank holiday.
Carnaval - Late Feb/Early March - This festival is the big party which takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, (3rd day preceding Ash Wednesday) and is marked with parades, dancing, processions, food, fireworks, music and a general 'good time'! This festival is especially big in Veracruz, La Paz, Mazatlan and Cozumel - places you can discover with Mexperience!
March Events in Mexico
Benito Juarez' Birthday - March 21. A National Holiday, and a day marking the birth date of one of Mexico's most famous and revered heroes - also the country's first President - Benito Juarez. Parties, dancing, music, Mexican food and good times are practiced nationwide, but especially in Oaxaca - where Juarez was born. You can discover Oaxaca with Mexperience.
Holy Week - The whole week from Ash Wednesday through to the week after Easter Sunday is the busiest time at all of Mexico's key attractions. Everywhere you go there will be processions, festivals, parties, fireworks and more! Many Mexicans take their holiday during this period, so in Smaller towns and cities, you can expect more businesses (shops, nightclubs, etc) to be closed. Hotels, restaurants and other core tourist services will operate as normal. If you want to travel to Mexico during the Easter Period - BOOK EARLY.
Spring Equinox - March 21st. The first day of spring; many archaeological structures (especially those closely lined with astronomical events) are popular on the 20th - 22nd of March, as the sun's light matches up with features on the structures left behind by the ancient civilisations. The most famous is Chichen-Itza, where a shadow of the plumed serpent moves up the main temple. You can discover this and many other Archaeological Centres in Mexico with Mexperience
April Events in Mexico
Local: Cuernavaca Flower Fair - April 3rd - 7th. Cuernavaca is one of Mexico's most attractive and most popular Colonial Gems. You can discover Cuernavaca with Mexperience.
Local: San Marcos Fair, Aguascalientes - April 12th - May 4th. This is Mexico's largest fair and people from all over Mexico travel there to experience it. Discover Aguascalientes, and its famous Feria de San Marcos, with Mexperience.
May Events in Mexico
Dial del Trabajo (Labour Day) - May 1st. A National Holiday. Businesses and Offices close, nationwide.
Cinco de Mayo - May 5th. A National Holiday, commemorating the Mexican defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla.
Cancun Jazz Festival - Exact dates vary, but if you're a Jazz fan, Cancun is THE place to be in Mexico during the month of May. Discover more about Cancun and its Jazz Festival with Mexperience.
June Events in Mexico
Corpus Christi - Dates Vary. Celebrated nationally, this event honours the body of Christ, and is marked with processions, celebrations, music food and dancing. If you are near the Archaeological site of El Tajin, you'll have a chance to see the famous Voladores, or flying dancers perform. In Mexico City, celebrations centre around the Zocalo, Cathedral and National Palace.
Dial de la Marina (Navy Day) - June 1st. If you find yourself near a costal town or city on June 1st, you are likely to see parties and firework displays celebrating Navy Day in Mexico. You can discover no less than 17 different Beach Destinations with Mexperience.
July Events in Mexico
Local: Guelaguetza Dance Festival, Oaxaca, Mid July. One of two big festivals in Oaxaca, this dance festival features local costume, music, dance and food. If you are planning a trip to Oaxaca at this time, book early as the festival is experienced by many Mexicans and people world-wide, who descend upon Oaxaca in July. You can discover the fabulous city of Oaxaca with Mexperience.
August Events in Mexico
Dia de la Asuncion de la Virgen Maria (Assumption Day) 15th/16th and 20th - 22nd of August - Celebrated nationally, but especially big in Huamantla, near Puebla, south of Mexico City. Special masses and processions take place. If you want to experience the events at Huamantla, its best to stay in Puebla and commute to the events there. You can discover Puebla with Mexperience.
Local: San Miguel de Allende - International Chamber Music Festival, August 1st - 15th. San Miguel is famous for non-stop festivals and parties all year-round and this is one of its most famous, and most widely attended. The festival lasts for a fortnight - book early as the hotels fill up at this time. You can discover San Miguel de Allende with Mexperience.
September Events in Mexico
Dia de la Independencia (Independence Day) - September 16th. Indisputably Mexico's most important, and most revered National Holiday is Independence Day - Dia de la Patria. During this time, Fiestas Patrias take place nationwide. From the evening of September 15th, parties begin. At midnight, the President of the Republic shouts the Cry (El Grito) of "Viva Mexico" from the balcony of the National Palace - an event televised and broadcast on radio to every corner of the nation, as Mexicans cry back with "Viva!" in an emotion-packed traditional annual ritual. The Zocalo in Mexico City brims and buzzes with sheer excitement. Celebrations are particularly lively at the revolutionary Colonial centres, especially Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende - important and significant places before, during and after the war of Independence from Spain. This is a great time to be in Mexico if you like celebrations, parties and a buzzing atmosphere!
Autumn Equinox - September 21st - Marking the first day of the Autumn; many archaeological structures (especially those closely lined with astronomical events) are popular on the 21st and 22nd of September, as the sun's light matches up with features on the structures left behind by the ancient civilisations. The most famous is Chichen-Itza, where a shadow of the plumed serpent moves up the main temple. You can discover Chichen-Itza and many other Archaeological Centres in Mexico with Mexperience.
October Events in Mexico
Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day) - October 12th. A National Holiday and a day that commemorates Columbus' founding of the "new world", an event that subsequently sparked the journeys of hundreds of European explorers travelling west to discover that you really don't fall off the edge, and to inhabit the lands we now call The Americas.
Local: Festival Cervantino (Cervantino Festival), Throughout first half of October, Guanajuato. Performing Artists from all over the world gather in Guanajuato, one of Mexico's most attractive colonial cities, to celebrate. You can Discover Guanajuato with Mexperience.
Local: Fiestas de Octubre (October Parties) - Guadalajara - All Month. Guadalajara is birthplace of the Mariachi, the famous Mexican musical performers, synonymous with Mexico. During October Mariachis celebrate their art in the city where they began. Musicians from all over Mexico gather here during October - if you like Mariachi music, get to Guadalajara in October! You can discover the fabulous city of Guadalajara with Mexperience!
November Events in Mexico
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) - November 1st and 2nd. This event encompasses 2 days: All Saint's Day, and All Souls day. The former honours all saints and people who died as children, and the latter honours the souls of those who died in adulthood. If you are in Mexico around this time, expect to see sugar-candy skulls, skeletons and Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead) advertised at shops and supermarkets - they are a major feature and a tradition at this time of year. Relatives of those who died gather at cemeteries throughout Mexico, bringing bread, fruit and their decorated sugar skulls, along with candles and the favourite food of the people they are remembering to celebrate the lives of those passed on, and remember their loved loves. The mood is far from morbid: it is lively, upbeat - almost like an Irish wake - and is intended to be a celebration of life, not a morbid occasion!
Dia de la Revolucion (Day of the Revolution) - November 20th. This is not a national holiday, but a day which commemorates the starting of the revolution in 1910. The day is marked with some Fiestas Patrias (but nowhere near as loud or prominent as Independence Day celebrations in September) - speeches and a few official ceremonies.
Local: Fiestas de Mar, Puerto Vallarta - November 10th to end of November. (Parties of the Sea) - This is Puerto Vallarta's biggest party event on the annual calendar and includes a sailing regatta and the Governor's Golf Tournament. You can Discover Puerto Vallarta and its November Parties, as well as other Golf Courses in Mexico with Mexperience.
December Events in Mexico
Dia de la Asuncion de la Virgen Guadalupe (Assumption Day) 20th - 22nd of August - Celebrated nationally, this is one of Mexico's most important religious events. The Virgin Guadalupe is extremely important and revered by Mexican Catholics - her image, almost without exception next to a crucifix, is everywhere in Mexico. Special masses and processions take place nationwide, with a huge mass at the Basilica de Guadalupe (where the original image is hosted) in Mexico City. Puerto Vallarta also hosts special masses and a magnificent procession between December 1st and December 12th. Celebrations that include fireworks, music dancing, Mexican food and traditional drink is commonplace everywhere.
Posadas de Navidad - Nine days leading up to Christmas Day. Posadas are parties that take place throughout the nine days before Christmas Day. Posadas re-enact Mary & Joseph's search for an inn, with local communities arranging for one of the local houses to be the inn that accepts - while local children travel from door-to-door in traditional costume, holding candles and singing a traditional carol, requesting a place to stay. Eventually they get to the arranged house, and a party ensues therein.
Christmas in Mexico - The Christmas period starts around the 12th and continues right through until early in the New Year on January 6th - Kings Day. Hotels, resorts, and key attractions become totally booked up (so do busses, flights and trains). Parties, celebrations and processions evident everywhere you go. Mexicans love to party and Christmas is a big event here.
New Year's Eve - Dec 31st. Mexico City's square becomes as lively at it gets on Independence day. Don't wear your good clothes - it is traditional to fill empty egg shells with confetti and colourful liquids that will stain your clothes and may not come out. The liquid is usually a variety of food colouring. Parties are vibrant and go on forever. The mood is of celebration and hope for the new year ahead. Colonial Centres are particularly atmospheric at this time and are great places to go if you're looking for an alternative to the normal big town / big city new year's scene.