As you see yourself, I once saw myself; as you see me now, you will be seen.
      Mexican Proverb


México is the most populous Spanish-
speaking country in the world. According to the latest statistics, México's total population is over 99 million. Mestizos, of Indian and Spanish blood), make up 60% of the population, followed by indigenous peoples  (30%), whites (9%), and other ethnic minorities  (1%).

Carnaval in Mazatlan

Visitors and locals scream, sing, shout and dance amid confetti and ribbons. Bands of all kinds play the infectious rhythms of the State of Sinaloa. And the food–oh, the food–camarones (shrimp) prepared in every way possible, washed down with ice cold Pacifico beer, for it’s Carnaval Time, Mazatlán’s biggest pachanga (fiesta). 
                     Read more

March 12, 2006


  of Mexican Holidays and Celebrations

Click on linked events to read articles about them.


International Guitar Festival
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

San Miguel's Guitar Festival features performances throughout the city, master classes by internationally renowned artists, lectures, exhibitions of instruments, as well as a food and arts festival spotlighting traditional food and art from the region.

Cabalgata Villista (Villista Cavalgade)
Chihuahua, Chihuahua

More than a thousand people take part in the Cabalgata Villista, a horseback riding adventure covering 136 miles from Chihuahua City to Hidalgo del Parral. Families are welcome to participate.

Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Dating back to prehispanic times when local indigenous people offered the festival to the gods in hopes of a bountiful harvest, the Guelaguetza brings together groups from the region's seven indigenous cultures to sing traditional songs and perform traditional dances. Handicrafts typical to each region are also on display.

26-AUG 28
Feria Nacional de Sarape (National Sarape Fair)
Santa Ana Chiautempan, Tlaxcala

This annual month-long fair highlights Mexico’s renowned rectangular sarape shawls, one of the country’s traditional textile handicrafts.


Fiestas de la Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival)
Ensenada, Baja California

A food and wine festival where fine vintages from local wineries compliment local dishes.

Fiesta de la Marimba y las Flores (Marimba and Flower Festival)
Comitan and Palenque, Chiapas

Ten days of marimba and flowers at one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Feria de Huamantla (Huamantla Fair)
Huamantla, Tlaxcala

At this event, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, churches and miles of city streets are draped in a beautiful tapestry of colorful flower petals and decorative sawdust. A running of the bulls follows the solemn event.

Feria del Hongo (Mushroom Fair of San Juanito)
San Juanito, Chihuahua

A mushroom is a mushroom is a mushroom. Learn more about the various types of mushrooms and their diverse contributions to the culinary world through workshops, demonstrations and taste-testing. Cooking contests and cultural events help to round out this event. 


Mani Festival (Fiesta de Mani)
Mani, Yucatan

Mani is known in Mexico as the site of the infamous "Auto de Fe," where bishop Fray Diego de Landa burned valuable Mayan codices and manuscripts in 1562. Mani is one of the most representative Mayan towns alive. This festival features local dancers, bands, traditional cuisine, live concerts, mechanical attractions, art exhibitions and more. The festival takes place at the center plaza and offers visitors from all over the world a unique cultural experience. 

Las Morismas de Bracho (Morismas of Bracho)
Zacatecas, Zacatecas

A reenactment of the battles between Moors and Christians, held annually for more than 300 years, this event involves thousands of re-enactors.

Festival del Chile en Nogada (Chile in Walnut Sauce Festival)
Puebla, Puebla

The city of Puebla annually commemorates Mexico’s national dish with culinary conferences and samplings, as well as a competition for the largest chile, judged by the Guiness Book of World Records. Inspired by the Mexican flag, the dish contains a poblano chile (green), walnut sauce (white), with pomegranate seeds (red) sprinkled over. A must for lovers of Mexican cuisine!


Internacional del Mariachi y la Charreria (International Mariachi and Charro Festival)
Guadalajara, Jalisco

Guadalajara's Mariachi Festival is an annual celebration of mariachi music in the mariachi capital of the world, gathering musicians from Mexico and around the world. 

Reto al Tepozteco (Tepozteco Challenge)
Tepoztlan, Morelos

Performance depicting King Tepoztecatl’s conversion to the Catholic religion. The festival features a procession leading to the Tepozteco Pyramid where participants make offerings, plus a food festival, fireworks and chinelo dances dating back to prehispanic times.

Fiestas Patrias (Mexican Independence Day)

Mexico celebrates its declaration of independence from Spain in 1810. The night of September 15, marks "El Grito," a dramatic reenactment of revolutionary Father Hidalgo's call for his fellow Mexicans to join the uprising, which takes place at city halls across the country. On September 16, military parades liven up almost every Mexican city. The celebration is particularly moving in Mexico City and Dolores Hidalgo, where Father Hidalgo first announced the Grito de Dolores.

Equinoccio de Kulkulcan (Fall Equinox of Kulkulcan)
Chichen Itza, Yucatan

Thousands of people from around the world gather at this Mayan ruin on the Yucatan Peninsula to witness the afternoon shadow of the snake-god Kukulcan slowly "crawl down" the country's largest Mayan pyramid, El Castillo.

29-OCT 3
Muestra Nacional de Antigüedades (National Antiques Festival)
Saltillo, Coahuila

This National Antiques Festival gathers together top antique dealers from all over Mexico and features exhibitions of international treasures, accompanied by a musical and educational program. 


Feria del Café (Coffee Fair)
Cuetzalan, Puebla

Home to some of the best coffee beans in Mexico, Cuetzalan welcomes coffee aficionados from around the world to taste the local coffee, fruit liqueurs and traditional appetizers. This fair also highlights local handicrafts, especially the area’s prized huipiles or embroidered blouses.

Feria Nacional del Mole (National Mole Fair)
San Pedro Actopan, State of Mexico

Just south of Mexico City, thousands of varieties of mole are prepared for sampling and competition. This spicy sauce, often served with meat or poultry, is a Mexican staple and made of unsweetened chocolate, chiles and 61 herbs and spices. Eat your fill and take some home. Mole paste stays fresh for several months in the freezer.

Fiesta de la Comida de los Dioses (Food of the Gods Festival)
Oaxaca, Oaxaca

The Food of the Gods Festival is a culinary exploration of the fabulous indigenous cultures of Oaxaca. Known globally for its culinary creativity, Oaxaca is the birthplace of chocolate! 

Fiesta Cervantino Internacional (International Cervantes Festival)
Guanajuato, Guanajuato

One of the most important cultural events in Mexico, the annual Cervantino Festival fills the streets of this colonial town with performers and visitors from all over the world. 

Fiesta Internacional del Nacho (International Nacho Festival)
Piedras Negras, Coahuila

Every year the Nacho Festival promotes the notorious nacho, one of the region’s culinary contributions to Mexican cuisine. 

Feria del Pan (Bread Fair)
Cholula, Puebla

Cholula, home of the Pyramid of Quetzalcóatl, hosts this annual bread fair in October. Workman construct a gigantic brick oven in the main plaza and bakers from Cholula and neighboring towns give demonstrations of traditional Mexican bread-making. More than 150 different kinds of bread are for sale.

Feria de Tlaxcala (Tlaxcala Fair)
Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala

Held in honor of all Saints and the dead, the annual Tlaxcala Fair offers all sorts of cultural, sporting and culinary events, including bullfighting, rodeos, cockfighting and escaramuzas, a women's choreographed horse-riding show. In addition, Ms. Feria de Tlaxcala is crowned every year, highlighting the beautiful people from the region. 

Congreso sobre Patrimonio Gastronomico y Turismo Cultural (Annual Culinary Heritage and Cultural Tourism Festival)
Puebla, Puebla State

The colonial city of Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrates Mexico’s rich culinary heritage as well as promotes competition among regional cuisines and the nation’s top chefs, making it a favorite among Mexican and international food experts alike—as well as people just looking for good food and a good time. The festival features food workshops, delectable samplings, cultural events and an academic program.

Noche de las Campanas (Night of the Bells)
Cholula, Puebla

More than 100 bells from the different churches in Cholula participate in this annual celestial concert of bells. Townspeople sit atop roofs with lit candles to enjoy the harmonious spectacle. The town of Cholula boasts the greatest quantity of churches and alters in Mexico with a total of 365 in the district, one for each day of the year.

22 Oct. - 2 Nov.
Festival de las Calaveras (Festival of the Skulls)
Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes

The macabre Festival of the Skulls features a variety of morbid art exhibits, performing arts and a parade of skeletons, with contests for the most creative costumes and artwork. Skulls of different sizes and materials are on display as well as games and stands with traditional food and seasonal fruits. 

Throughout the month of October
Fiestas de Octubre (October Festivals)
Guadalajara, Jalisco

Guadalajara sparkles with this month-long event involving concerts, dances, cultural exhibits and food and attracting visitors and performers from all over the world.


Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

The most colorful annual festival on the Mexican calendar, commemorating departed loved ones. During this festival, the dead have divine permission to visit friends and relatives on earth. The living welcome the souls of the departed with offerings incorporating their favorite foods and beverages, as well as marigolds and candles. The Day of the Dead celebration is particularly memorable in the states of Oaxaca, Michoacan, and the State of Mexico, as well as in Mexico City.

Feria del Pan de la Navidad (Christmas Bread Fair)
Chignahuapan, Puebla

A scenic three-hour drive from Mexico City, Chignahuapan offers all types of specialized Christmas breads, including the famous pan de hilo used to decorate the statues of the Virgin on Candlemas Day.

Feria Nacional del Tequila (National Tequila Fair)
Tequila, Jalisco

Held annually in celebration of Mexico's beloved spirit, the tequila fair features an exposition of the primary tequila makers throughout the country, with demonstrations on how this famous spirit is made. The fair also features charreadas or Mexican rodeos, cockfights, mariachi serenades, and fireworks.

Dia de la Revolucion Mexicana (Mexican Revolution Day)

This day marks the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, with parades and celebrations occurring throughout the country.

Late November
Feria Nacional de Plata (National Silver Fair)
Taxco, Guerrero

Taxco is the region of the country known as Mexico’s "silver heartland," as it is the source of much of the lucrative silver mining and export business. Every year Mexico’s best silversmiths compete against artists from around the world in this lavish festival including concerts, dances, fireworks and a seemingly endless supply of unique items for sale.


Dia de la Virgin de Guadalupe (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe)

The most important holiday in Mexico in which millions of pilgrims converge on the Mexico City Basilica of the country’s patron saint to pay tribute. The square in front of the Basilica is a stage for singing, dancing and celebration.

Fiesta de San Cristobal de las Casas (Festival of San Cristobal de las Casas)
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

This two-week festival in Chiapas includes a procession by the Tzotzil and Tzetzal Indians, marimba music and a parade of horses.

Posadas (Yuletide Processions)

Processions recreating Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem, in which people holding candles go door to door to seek shelter. Festivities include piZatas, Christmas caroling and special foods and sweets.

Fiesta de los Rabanos (Festival of the Radishes)
Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Local artisans and sculptors set up stalls around the main square to display their elaborate pieces of art made entirely from radishes. Local farmers use their radishes to create nativity scenes and famous Mexican figures. Balloons and birds crafted from local flowers add even more color.

Las Calendas
Oaxaca, Oaxaca

The districts of Oaxaca City prepare floats and costumes for processions held throughout the city. The parades feature marmotas, translucent paper spheres lit from within and carried aloft on poles, and giant paper mache people whose arms flop around as the person hidden inside dances.

For more information on Mexico's many destinations, click here.


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