Index » Holidays
All Mexican Holidays and Mexican Way of Living. One of the main characteristic of Mexican people is that they love to live and enjoy life as much as they can. There is one Mexican saying that goes like this: Mexicans work to live, others live to works.
Mexicans love to dance, to play music, to sing, to drink, and to celebrate life as much as possible. That is probably one of the main reasons why Mexicans have so many holidays (more than majority of other nations).
What is even more interesting is that most of Mexicans that live outside Mexico keep celebrating their Mexican holidays, but they also celebrate the holidays of a country they live in. Mexicans celebrate even when there is no official holiday.
There are many Mexican national holidays however the most important Mexican holidays are: Mexican Independence Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, The Day of the Dead, New Year's Day, and Mothers Day.
Even though Mexico has no official religion close to 95% of the Mexican people are Christians which is why Christmas is so important to great majority of Mexicans.
Mexican Christmas traditions include the "Posadas" which take place between December 16th and December 24th as well as the celebration of Christmas Eve (December 24th) and Christmas Day (December 25th) and the Day of the Three Kings (6 January) which is day when children receive gifts.
Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is very significant Mexican holyday because Our Lady of Guadalupe, as Mexicans call her, appeared in the 16th century in what is now the northern part of Mexico City.
Also, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was a first Mexican flag and it represents love, independence, freedom, religion and hope. In other words Our Lady of Guadalupe is deeply rooted in all Mexican hearts and they truly cherish and adore her.
Many would agree that Mexican Independence Day is one of the most important Mexican national holydays. On this day whole of Mexico is celebrating, and the entire country takes part in the biggest Mexican fiesta of the year.
Even the president of the Mexico is participating in this celebration by addressing the nation as the founder of the Mexican Independence War, Father Miguel Hidalgo, addressed his countrymen in the 1810 on the 16th of September.
On this day Mexican cities, towns and villages are decorated with balloons, Mexican flags, and lighted decorations. Traditional Mexican foods and drinks are served; there are many people wearing traditional Mexican clothing, and everybody dances to the traditional Mexican music.
The day of the Dead is the day when Mexicans pray for their loved ones that had passed away and honor and remember them. This national Mexican holiday represents the integration of the Aztec and Spanish cultures and their religious believes.
For example, they celebrate events such as the one when Mexican national soccer team wins an important international soccer match. When this happens Mexicans are in the streets dancing, singing, drinking and having great time till morning hours.
Even the change of Federal government is the official holiday in Mexico!
There are three kinds of Mexican holidays: Statutory holidays, Civic holidays and Festivities.
Statutory holidays are days that are designated by the government and observed nationwide. During these holidays employees are entitled to a day off with regular pay.
Most of the names of the Mexican national holidays numbered above are self-explanatory however two of these holidays may need certain clarification.
First is the Benito Juarez's Day which is the day that commemorates the President Benito Juarez's birthday who is regarded as the Mexico's greatest and most loved leader of all times.
Second is the holiday of "Change of Federal Government" which is very unique holiday and it is celebrated every six years when a new president is sworn in office.
Important thing to note is that even though Christmas is a statutory holiday in Mexico and over 90% of Mexicans are Roman Catholics Mexico does not have an official religion since the 1917 when the 1917 Mexican Constitution was produced.
Festivities are the traditional holidays that honor public celebrations such as Mother's Day (very important holiday in Mexico) or religious events such as holy week, Day of the dead and Christmas Eve.
Even though these Mexican holidays are not official holidays, many of them are very important to Mexicans and they are celebrated with great joy. In fact, some of these holidays such as the Day of the Dead, Los Pasadas or Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe represent an important part of traditional Mexican culture.
The Three Kings Day celebrates the day when three wise men, Gasper, Balthazar and Melchoir arrived to Bethlehem and brought gifts of gold to Jesus Christ when he was a child. This is why it is on this day that the children in Mexico receive gifts and not in the Christmas Morning.
Day of the dead is the day when Mexicans pay their respect to the dead, pray and remember family members and friends who have died. The main reason for this is that many Mexicans believe that during this day it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living.
Mexican holidays are a great insight into Mexican culture which is why they deserve your full attention if you are interested in understanding Mexicans and their way of living.
Finally, if you count in all the birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other family celebrations, and if you know the Mexican family culture and traditions, you understand why it is great to be Mexican or live and enjoy life as Mexicans do.
Very unique and special holiday tradition in Mexico is the "Posadas".
Posada is an old Mexican Christmas tradition that gathers family members, friends and neighbors.
It takes place between the 16th and 24th of the December and it can be described as the preparation for the celebration of the Nativity which is the birth of Jesus Christ.
First, each family in the neighborhood schedules a night for the Posada to be held at their house. Then children and the adults take part in acting out the days before the Holy Night when Mother Merry and Joseph were seeking lodging.
They do this by going through the neighborhood and asking for lodging in three different places, houses of shops. After being rejected at two different locations, the third house that is predetermined to have the Posada for that evening will allow them in.
Once inside everybody kneels around the Nativity scene and start praying and singing traditional Christmas songs. After the prayers are said and after thanking God for all the blessings the family had received, including the family reunion, the children's "Piñata" party can begin.
The Piñata is a container made out of cardboard and it is decorated with crape paper in different colors. First, Piñata is filled with sugar canes, candy, peanuts, and other special treats that children love. Then it is hung from the ceiling for the children to strike it with the stick while blindfolded.
After several attempts the Piñata is broken and the children are very satisfied and occupied with collecting the goodies while the adults enjoy a famous Mexican Punch made out of cinnamon sticks, seasonal fruits and little bit of alcohol.
Another Mexican Christmas tradition is that children receive gifts on the 6th of January on the Day of the Three Kings and not in the Christmas morning or New Years Eve.
Unfortunately, many Mexican holiday traditions are not respected in the Mexican cities and other industrialized parts of Mexico due to the phenomena known as the globalization.
However, there are still many Mexicans in rural parts of Mexico that are very traditional and that preserve traditional Mexican culture.
Few weeks ago I came back from Mexico and I have to say Mexicans rock!
The only thing I knew about Mexico, Mexicans and Mexican culture in general was what I saw on TV and what I red in the news papers.
In other words, I knew very little about Mexican people and their fascinating country and way of living.
What struck me the most was how relaxed, easy going and kind Mexicans (in general) are. They simply live as if there is no worry in the world; and believe me they have many things to worry about in Mexico, but somehow they keep their optimism at very high level.
To be honest if I lived in the country like Mexico I would be everything but relaxed, especially in those parts of Mexico where there is major problem with drug cartels and violence they cause. However, it seems that Mexican people are much more resilient than me, which is why I admire them for that.
The fact that Mexicans appreciate life and enjoy it as much as possible is best represented with numerous Mexican holidays and celebrations that take place throughout the year.
Mexicans celebrate almost everything there is to celebrate, including Christmas, Mexican Independence Day, Mexican revolution, mothers (Mother’s Day), fathers (Father’s Day), teachers (Teacher’s Day), students (Student’s Day), children (Children’s Day), love (Valentine’s Day), dead people (The Day of the Dead), Columbus (Columbus Day), Mexican Flag, army (Army’s day), oil expropriation (Anniversary of the Oil Expropriation), labor (Labor Day), constitution (Constitution Day), change of federal government, and so on.
Of course all Mexicans celebrate birthdays, personal anniversaries and other occasions such as the graduations which all together ads up to numerous reasons to eat traditional Mexican foods, drink authentic Mexican alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, listen to great Mexican music, and dance with beautiful Mexican women.
Now you know one of the reasons why it is good to be Mexican.