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Mexican Fiesta… the best festival in Mexico and the world.
Fiesta, folklore, music, delicious food and lots of fun are some of the elements that add life and color to traditional Mexican festivals. Celebrate!
As a country rich in traditions, rituals and with a blind faith in images, Mexican people are lucky enough to live among a celebration all year round. Festivals and cultural events not only capture the hearts of Mexican families, but also invite those crossing borders to make them fall in love with the spirit of having a good time.
Day of the Dead (or Día de muertos)
Celebrated yearly from October 31-November 2, this holiday in Mexico is considered one of the most popular. It holds its origins since the times of Mayan commemorations, which centered around worshipping death. The spirit of this festivity is to honor the dead. Traditionally, Mexicans show this respect to their departed ones by building striking altars decorated with cempasúchil flower.
Throughout this Mexican festival, you will encounter delicious Mexican gastronomy, pantheons with music, catrinas, processions, sweet skulls, alebrijes, and the exquisite “bread of the dead.”
Nonetheless, feelings of deep love and nostalgia are present in these dates. A main goal of this tradition is to connect spiritually with loved ones who come back and visit Earth once again.
Depending on where you are located, you will find different variations of Day of the Death rituals. For example: in Mexico City, the local government hosts a great parade along Paseo de La Reforma. In Xochimilco or Mixquic, there are significant events so as not to neglect the celebration. In Oaxaca City, it is customary to drink mezcal.
The Day of the Dead has attractive rituals among both Mexicans and foreigners alike in the towns of Pátzcuaro and Janitzio in Michoacán. Pomuch, another city, has a tradition of visiting the bone and casing it afterwards. Its people clean it thoroughly and put it in a special place in the cemetery.
Feast and Carnaval!
The Veracruz Carnival (Son Jarocho Music Festival) is, undoubtedly, one of the most famous in all of Latin America. Held yearly in February at the Jarocho port, thousands of tourists come to witness the parades, including: allegorical cars, costumes, music bands, marimbas, burning dolls, beauty queens… all the Mexican party! Good spirits endure the celebrations for several days and nights of fun.
When it comes to carnivals, the Northern town of Mazatlan does not stay far behind. Dancing to the rhythm of “tambora,” Sinaloans and tourists alike go to bed at dawn. Mexico celebrates their Mexican music with joy, spirit, and happiness.
Campeche, Mérida, and Cozumel are other regions in Mexico where similar kinds of festivals take place. All of these cities host impressive events that capture the attention of the world.
It’s important to note that there are many carnivals in Mexico that include indigenous peoples’ festivities and ancestral rites. In fact, other important celebrations include the carnival of Tlaxcala and the festival of the Totonacs in Puebla, where dancers, huehues, and mulattoes can be enjoyed. Some others can be found in Oaxaca and Yucatan.
La Guelaguetza Festival
The Guelaguetza is one of the quintessential Mexican festivals. Held in Oaxaca during the month of July, all of its participants wear traditionally colorful, finely embroidered costumes while they dance to the rhythm of wind music.
Decorations are created to liven the atmosphere around the city. There is joy to be felt when walking around the streets during this time.
The main objective of the Guelaguetza festival, in Cerro del Fortín, is the honoring and celebration of solidarity, loyalty, along with the love of sharing. It is an exemplary Mexican holiday. This festival also commemorates the periods in which this town went through difficult social and political situations but was able to overcome them thanks to the solidarity witnessed in these gatherings.
As part of the party, you can find big parades throughout the streets of Oaxaca de Juárez. The dancers stand out, the Oaxacan-Chinese people, dressed in distinguished costumes. The scenery includes fireworks and the essential drinks under the sky: mezcal.
Authentic Mexican Food all around:
Fairs are similar celebrations that stand out in this country. Depending on geographic location, you can find a diverse variety: not only are there those with mechanical games, such as kermeses, but you can find typical palenques as well. These showgrounds are attended by artists and singers of international stature.
Do not miss other events like cultural exhibitions, livestock sell, the classic mariachi bands – especially those from Jalisco – or even art exhibitions of Mexican charros! You will be able to savor the drinks of the region while you party, such as tequila, and enjoy authentic Mexican food.
Some of the most notable fairs in Mexico: the Horse Fair in Texcoco or San Marcos Fair in Aguascalientes.
Religion’s role in the festivities
Because Catholicism is very important to the Mexican people, even engrained in their culture, religion is a big part of festivals.
Another utterly important celebration for Catholics, which comprise about 80% of Mexicans, is the Virgin of Guadalupe Day. Every December 12, millions of pilgrims and devotees honor her all around the country, but especially in the Basilica, located in Mexico City.
Also known as the “Morenita del Tepe,” this dark-skinned virgin appeared in front of Juan Diego four times in 1531. December 12 was the date of when he last witnessed her divine presence. Hence, this day is very significant for Catholics.
Believers visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with great respect and love. They sing to her in the morning and celebrate with profound devotion.
Different kinds of Mexican religious festivals are posadas, Christmas and, Three Kings Day. The latter is celebrated on January 6th, eating traditional Rosca de Reyes, a delicious sweet bread, decorated with crystallized fruits. Inside the exquisite bread dish, you’ll encounter hidden dolls of Baby Jesus and whoever finds them, must pay for tamales on Candelaria Day.
This Day of the Virgin of Candlemas, or Día de la candelaria, is a tradition in which Catholics dress up the “Niño Dios” and take him to be blessed in church.
Holy Week is another important religious date amongst Mexican holidays. In Querétaro, Oaxaca, Taxco and San Luis Potosí in particular, tourists can witness colorful ceremonies and traditions.
Iztapalapa, a neighborhood in Mexico City, is a quintessential Catholic meeting point. People come here to witness the Stations of the Cross.
National holidays seen as Patriotic fiesta
Mexico is a country that truly knows how to celebrate its national holidays pridefully. Among these festivities, the “Battle of Cinco de Mayo” stands out. Especially known as a celebration of Mexicans in the US, the real history behind it is the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution (Revolution day). Not to be confused with Independence Day, by the way! We will talk about it in a second.
It is during September that Mexicans celebrate the Battle of Independence of Mexico. Decorations in their homes, businesses, buildings, and vehicles with objects representing the tricolor flag and its symbol.
On the 15th and 16th of September, millions of Mexicans participate in the Grito de Dolores. This event is the main celebration of Independence, with roots in history. An impressive military parade is held in every town of the country.
Mexico is known for having a vibrant culture. Each celebration, Saints day, and festivity that Mexican People love to enjoy, also show the kindness, joy, and traditions of its people. Although they are difficult to number, the holidays in Mexico have prevailed for years with music and dance. They are a cultural hallmark that gives flavor and tradition to this country in front of the world. Don’t miss out on them!
Ready for Mexican Festivals?
Mexican festivals are a great way to enjoy delicious food, music and fun! If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life, check out some of these popular festivals. From the profound Day of the Dead to the Posada Navideña, there’s a festival for everyone in Mexico. So what are you waiting for, start planning your trip today!
What is the biggest celebration in Mexico?
The biggest celebration in Mexico is the Day of the Dead, which is held on two days: November 1st and 2nd. On this day, Mexicans remember and honor their deceased loved ones. Families often visit gravesites, decorating them with flowers and other items that the deceased enjoyed in life. They also make special food and drinks to offer to the dead.
What Is a Mexican Fiesta?
A Mexican Fiesta is a party or celebration. It typically includes traditional Mexican food, music and dance. Fiestas are often held to commemorate special events such as saints days, Independence Day or Christmas.
What are the main holidays celebrated in Mexico?
There are a number of holidays celebrated in Mexico, the most important of which are Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Day of the Dead, fiestas de octubre and Independence Day. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th and is a religious holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. New Year’s Eve is celebrated on December 31st and is a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate the start of the new year. The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd and is a time to remember and honor deceased loved ones. Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th and commemorates Mexico’s independence from Spain.