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Living in Mexico: Expatriate Resources

Mexican Fiestas

Festivals Are the Spice of Life in Mexico

By Cynthia Marie Bower

Some say the Mexican calendar is full of festivals so people can escape the problems of everyday life. Some say the holidays are holdovers from pre-Hispanic times and represent seasonal rituals. Whatever their origin, fiestas are the spice of Mexican life.

Before your trip, look at the websites below for your destination city or cities. Though most are in Spanish, some have English versions as well.

To find fiestas and holidays in your destination city or cities, type “fiesta _____” (example: “fiesta Guadalajara”) into a search engine.

For information about attractions and tourist services at Mexican destinations go to the Ministry of Tourism website at: www.sectur.gob.mx.

For information about attractions in specific states in Mexico go to the list of state tourism website at: www.sectur.gob.mx/wb2/secturing/sect_States.

For a calendar of Mexican fiestas and holidays visit: www.inside-mexico.com/calendar.htm.

For more information about Mexican fiestas and traditions check out: www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/english/cultura_y_sociedad/fiestas_y_tradiciones.

If you plan to visit San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato, the following site will provide information about local festivals: www.festivalcervantino.gob.mx.

Once You Are There

  • Be sure to visit the tourist office in your destination city. The employees can tell you about key events.
  • Private Spanish language schools often have bulletin boards where event schedules are posted. Ask the secretary or director for recommendations.
  • Internet cafés, coffee shops, schools, churches, and universities post events.
  • Ask shopkeepers, policemen, taxi drivers, or waiters if they know of interesting fiestas.
  • Look for people dressed in traditional costumes, vendors setting up food stalls, or drum and trumpet bands warming up. Listen for fireworks or music and follow the sounds. When you find the source of the noise, you will most likely find a festival.
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