Mexican holidays and traditions: The most important celebrations
There are many holidays in Mexico. Most of them remind us of special events, and of course the most important religious festivals must not be missing. And some of these celebrations are really very special.
In Mexico, Independence Day on September 15 is very special, when the country remembers September 16, 1810. That Day, the priest Miguel Hidalgo took his weapons and shouted out loud “Viva Mexico! Viva la Independencia! “ („Long live Mexico! Long live independence!“). This is how he started the uprising against the Spanish. His call and his words are repeated in the grito every year on September 15 in a big celebration, shouted out loud as one voice by all the hundred millions of Mexican people.
Independence Day is, of course, celebrated in public places and with the Mexican national flag. But also many private households often organize big meetings with friends and family on this day. There is a feast with delicious delicacies – and of course with large quantities of alcoholic beverages. Independence Day is a celebration in Mexico, where the Mexican people clearly show their pride and great love for their homeland. This feeling is also shared with guests and makes this holiday really a great experience.
Day of the Dead
The celebrations in Mexico for the Day of the Dead, which still originate from the culture of the Aztecs, are also very unique. They were placed on All Saints ‘ Day by the Catholic Priests of the Spanish. According to the faith of the Aztecs, the Deceased return from the afterlife once a year – just before the end of the year – to visit the Living.
This means a big party with lots of candles, good food, delicious drinks, often also music and dancing. The celebration traditionally takes place in the cemetery, and on this day Mexican cemeteries are beautifully decorated and well attended. People visit their loved ones who passed away and often bring their favorite food, drinks and music. The children are shown and stories from the past year told. During this time, the shops and streets of Mexico are filled with skulls and skeletons of papier maché, plaster or sugar and chocolate. The Day of the Dead is a great celebration of life and so unique that it is recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Mankind.
In most regions of Mexico, children do not receive their gifts from the Christ Child, nor do they receive them from Santa Claus. The Tres Reyes, the Three Kings, are in charge of the gifts. According To tradition, the Rosca de Reyes, a cake made of yeast dough decorated with candied fruits, is eaten by the whole family. One of the pieces has a small figure of a Jesus child baked inside. The one who finds the Jesus figure in their piece of cake has to invite everyone else to a celebration where delicious Tamales and with some luck good Tequila are served.
Mexican Public Holidays over the year
1. January – New Year
6. January – Epiphany (the three magi)
5. February – Constitution Day (it will be celebrated on the closest monday)
24. February – Day of the National Flag
21. March – Birthday of Benito Juarez
April – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday
1. May – Labor Day
5. May – Day of the Puebla Battle
1. September – Government Statement Day
16. September – Independence Day
12. October – Anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America
1. + 2. November – Day of the Dead and All Souls
20. November – Revolution Day
12. December – Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe
25. Dezember – Christmas
On some holidays, Mexico has special rules for dealing with alcohol. Read more in our article about Mexican drinks.
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