5 Major Holidays and Festivals Celebrated in Mexico
Mexico is known for having elaborate and extravagant festivals filled with color and excitement. If you’re interested in joining in on the celebrations, here are 5 fun major holidays and festivals that you don’t want to miss out on. The atmosphere and the experience is comparable to vacationing and staying in lavish Thai mansions.
The Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos
One of the largest holidays in Mexico takes place on November 1. The entire holiday is celebrated all across Mexico, and each region will celebrate with their own cultural mark and traditions. The goal of the holiday is to honor loved ones who have passed away. As a result, you’ll see numerous public displays set up with photographs, mementos, and even food offerings, otherwise known as ofrendas. Ofrendas are symbolic gifts.
Some regions even hold elaborate and extravagant feasts and vigils at the cemeteries. Research the traditions in the region you plan on visiting to learn more about what to expect.
In general, you’ll see people with fancy face painting and lots of dancing, music and food. You’ll definitely want to try some pan de muerto, which is sweet bread made especially for the occasion. Candy skeletons are also pretty cool and unique.
Diez y Sies de Septiembre
Another interesting holiday is the Diez y Sies de Septiembre. It’s best to go to San Antonio to celebrate this holiday. It is held on September 16, which marks the day that Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged Mexicans to ride up and fight for their independence from the Spanish-born ruling class. This all happened in 1810, but if you attend the festivals held in San Antonio, you’ll feel as if you’re taken back in time to join in on the movement.
The festival usually starts at midnight. Each city will hear their major, or even the president, repeat Father Hidalgo’s speech at their community’s main square. When the sun rises on the 16th, the festival kicks into full gear. Both military and civic parades start off the celebrations. You’ll see lots of fireworks going on and hear lots of music.
Food vendors set up shop everywhere on the streets, and you’ll be able to find some amazing food and dishes. It’s definitely a wonderful experience.
Dia de la Raza
Every year on October 12, Mexicans celebrate Dia de la Raza. This is the fateful day when Christopher Columbus arrived in North America. The sentiments behind this holiday is a quite complicated; however, most Mexicans take this time to reflect on their roots.
Depending on where you are in Mexico, you can expect to see different types of celebrations. If you’re looking for a show or where the crowds will be, you’ll want to go to Mexico City. There, indigenous groups gather while dressed in their community’s traditional outfits. Some even go out of their way to wear pre-Columbian clothing and headdresses. It’s definitely a sight to see!
Feria Nacional de San Marcos
If you’ll be visiting Mexico closer to the end of April, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the Feria Nacional de San Marcos. This national fair is usually held in Aguascalientes every year, and the entire fair lasts anywhere from three to four weeks.
The festival is in honor of San Marcos, and has been named “The Festival of Mexico” for its spectacular activities and events. A lot of tourists visit Mexico each year to attend this festival, and over seven million locals and foreigners visit the fair each year. It’s filled with exciting activities like bullfighting and cockfighting.
If you’re interested in making it to the Feria Nacional de San Marcos, you’ll want to book your hotel room early. Hotels book up fairly quickly during this time of the year. If you wait, you’ll miss out on all of the fun and action.
Fiestas de Octubre
The dainty city of Guadalajara hosts a wonderful festival mid-october known as the Fiestas de Octubre. You’ll see lots of mariachis in town, and you’ll definitely get a taste of some of the best tequila in the world if you attend the festival. This festival features modern art shows and alternative rock presentations. You’ll definitely have a blast.
Even if you won’t make it for Fiestas de Octubre, you should still highly consider visiting Guadalajara. It is definitely a beautiful city that is known for its vibrant and bold music and arts scene. It’s the perfect place for growing artists to go. You’ll definitely find lots of inspiration if you do.
Mexico is definitely a fun place to visit. You’ll find that different regions are constantly hosting different types of festivals and celebrations. If you do your research, you’ll be able to find some really interesting places and interesting celebratory traditions. Almost everyone in the community chips in and participates in these festivals, which makes it all the more fun. You’ll get to hang out with the locals and bond with them over their traditions.
With that said, it’s still fun to visit Mexico when there isn’t a festival going on. The country is beautiful, and has plenty to offer. If you’re interested in going to Mexico, you should highly consider planning ahead. Those who are interested in attending some festivals will want to book their hotels and accommodations as early as possible. You’d be surprised at just how quickly everything fills up.