Mexican holidays are spread throughout the year. Whethery they are linked to history or religion, The Mexicans enjoy themselves in every “fiesta” by making masks, wearing costumes, playing instruments and dancing popular dances. Every holiday of Mexico is unique, and everyone who is visiting will be fascinated by them.
Statutory holidays are official federal holidays on which the vast majority of Mexican society takes time off work and school.
Just like other countries that use the Julian calendar, Mexicans celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st. It is common to start the year off with festive meals, spending time with family, and relaxing after the festivities of the night before. New Year’s Day is also a time when Mexicans start acting on their New Year’s resolutions.
Constitution Day is a Mexican statutory holiday celebrated on the first Monday of February. This holiday commemorates the day in 1917 when the Mexican constitution was make into official law after the successful Mexican Revolution.
The Constitution is well-loved in Mexico because of the sweeping social and political reforms it enacted. Mexicans on all ages celebrate this holiday by attending picnics, festivals, and concerts decked out in the patriotic colors of the Mexican flag: red, white, and green.
Benito Juárez was president of Mexico from 1847-1852 and is one of the most beloved Mexican statesmen. Born March 21, 1806 in San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca, President Juárez went on to lead the Mexican state and is known for his liberal policies, specifically enacting the strict separation of church and the Mexican state. Benito Juárez Day is celebrated every year on the third Monday in March.
Mexicans, along with the rest of the world (besides the U.S.) celebrate Labor Day on the first of May, or “May Day”. Many significant labor movements have existed in Mexico throughout its history, and these movements were often violently suppressed by government forces. Labor Day is meant to honor and glorify the Mexican laborers who helped build Mexico and who keep it running today.
Independence Day is celebrated in Mexico on September 16. This date is widely considered to be the starting point of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, and the events were started by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.
Hidalgo y Costilla made his now famous “Crito de Dolores” or “Cry of Dolores” in the small village of Dolores. The Crito de Dolores implored the people of Mexico to rise up and revolt against Spanish rule, and the people heard Hidalgo y Costilla’s cry. On October 18, 1825, Mexico declared its independence from Spain.
Revolution Day is celebrated on the third Monday in November. This statutory holiday commemorates the day on which Francisco I. Madero began his successful revolution against the corrupt dictator Porfirio Díaz.
The Federal Government Change is celebrated every six years on the first of December. This holiday celebrates the peaceful transfer of power that occurs after a national election. In a region not always known for its government stability, Mexicans are very proud of their established and peaceful democracy.
Mexico is a heavily-Catholic country, so Christmas is a big deal. It is celebrated every year on December 25, and like in America, it entails many religious and secular traditions. While Santa Claus and reindeer have become a part of the Mexican Christmas experience, there are still many uniquely Mexican aspects to the holiday, including piñatas and sweetly-spiced rice milk.
Civic holidays are official holidays, but they usually don’t mean workers and students get the day off.
Mexican Army Day is celebrated every year on February 19. It commemorates the formation of the Mexican National Army in 1913.
Flag Day is celebrated annually on February 24. Beginning in 1937, this holidays honors and commemorates all the iterations of the Mexican flag, especially the current flag, adopted in 1968. Many Mexicans deck themselves out in red, white, and green to mark this patriotic day.
The Heroic Defense of Veracruz celebrates Mexico’s historic defense of Veracruz against American forces in 1914.
Staff and faculty of the Heroica Escuela Naval Militar, along with some Mexican Navy forces, held off the Americans for seven months. This historic event is now commemorated every year on April 24.
Cinco de Mayo is often misconstrued as Mexican Independence Day, but that is not accurate. (The Mexican independence is commemorated on Día de la Independencia.) Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the longshot victory of Mexican troops over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This battle did not have anything to do with the Mexican independence; rather, it was part of a Mexican civil war.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was Mexican hero responsible for the “Crito de Dolores”, and this holiday commemorates his birth. Hidalgo y Costilla was a major player in the initiation of the Mexican War for Indendence, commemorated on the Día de la Independencia statutory holiday.
Maritime Day celebrated annually on June 1, honors Mexico’s Navy and maritime workers.
Boy Heroes Day commemorates a grim event in Mexican history. During the Mexican-American War, six young military cadets died defending Chapultepec Castle, a military academy in Mexico City. Their sacrifice is honored every year on September 13.
Mexican War of Independence Day is celebrated annually on September 27. It commemorates the end of the 11-year war of independence kicked off by Hidalgo y Costilla’s “Crito de Dolores” and celebrates Mexico’s freedom from Spain.
José Morelos Day commemorates the birth of José María Morelos y Pavón, a Catholic priest and Mexican founding father. It is celebrated every year on September 30.
Columbus Day, celebrated annually on October 12, commemorates Christopher Colobus’s 1492 discovery of the Americas.
Religious holidays of Mexico are celebrated on many days. Some of the most important, and known to people worldwide, are the following:
© Jeff Weese - Christmas Nativity Scene
There are many other Mexican celebrations that are not related to religion or historical events, but rather are means of showing their pride in their traditions. One of those holidays of Mexico is the “Guelaguetza” festival, a traditional folk “fiesta”, held on the region of Oaxaca.