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Mexican Holidays PDF Print E-mail

The following holidays are national holidays of Mexico. These are days that banks, schools, and federal offices may be closed for business. These holidays usually don't affect restaurants, bars, tour companies etc. due to the fact we are in a tourist area. In addition, Playa del Carmen, and The Riviera Maya is such an international destination that there are many other cultures and people who live or visit here who celebrate their own national holidays. Although they are Mexican Nationals, the Mayans have their own celebrations such as the Mayan Rain Festival, which runs from the 26th of April to the 3rd of May. This festival honors the Rain God Chac, and his attendant Chacmool, in welcoming the replenishing rains of springtime.  December 13th is when the Swedes celebrate Santa Lucia. Saint Lucia was a saint because of her kindness and her love. She was an Italian Christian who lived in Sicily in the 4th century, and some people believe she once visited Sweden. For the Dutch an important holiday and birthday is Sinterklaas'. This Saint gives presents on the eve of his birthday, on December 5. And of course there is the Canadian Thanksgiving in October, and American Thanksgiving in November. So basically there is always a celebration in, and around, Playa del Carmen as well as a very valid excuse to party!


Three Kings Day Mexico


  • January 1: Año Nuevo (New Year's Day) is an official Mexican holiday.
  • January 6: Día de los Santos Reyes is the day when Mexicans exchange Christmas presents in accordance with the arrival of the three gift-bearing wise men to Jesus Christ. This day culminates the Christmas time festivities.
  • January 17: Feast Day of de San Antonio de Abad is a religious holiday during which the Catholic Church allows animals to enter the church for blessing.

Carnival Cozumel 2006 - Courtesy of February
  • February 2: Día de la Candelaria or Candlemas is a religious holiday that is celebrated with processions, dancing, bullfights in certain cities, and the blessing of the seeds and candles. The festivities are best seen in: San Juan de los Lagos, Jalapa; Talpa de Allende, Jalisco; and Santa Maria del Tuxla, Oaxaca.
  • February 5: Día de la Constitución an official holiday that commemorates Mexico's Constitution.
  • February 23-28 (2006): Carnaval is an official Mexican holiday that kicks off a five-day celebration of the libido before the Catholic lent. Beginning the weekend before Lent, Carnaval is celebrated exuberantly with parades, floats and dancing in the streets. Port towns such as Ensenada, La Paz, Mazatlán and Veracruz are excellent places to watch Carnaval festivities. Dates change slightly as follows: 2006: Feb 23-28; 2007: Feb 15-20; 2008: Jan 31 - Feb 5; 2009: Feb 19-24; 2010: Feb 11-16.
  • February 24: Flag Day, This Mexican national holiday honors the Mexican flag.

Benito Juarez


  • March 19: St. Joseph's Day, Día de San José, and a religious holiday best seen in Tamulin, San Luis Potosi.
  • March 21: The Birthday of Benito Juárez, a famous Mexican president and national hero, this is an official Mexican holiday.



  • Semana Santa: Semana Santa is the holy week that ends the 40-day Lent period. This week includes Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is Mexican custom to break confetti-filled eggs over the heads of friends and family.

Cinco de Mayo  May
  • May 1: Primero de Mayo is the Mexican national holiday that is equivalent to the U.S. Labor Day.
  • May 3: Holy Cross Day Día de la Santa Cruz, when construction workers decorate and mount crosses on unfinished buildings, followed by fireworks and picnics at the construction site.
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican national holiday that honors the Mexican victory over the French army at Puebla de los Angeles in 1862.
  • May 10: Mother's Day, Due to the importance of the mother in Mexican culture, Mother's Day is an especially significant holiday.



  • June 1: Navy Day is an official Mexican holiday.
  • June 24: Saint John the Baptist Day is celebrated with religious festivities, fairs, and popular jokes connected to getting dunked in water.
  • June 29: Fiesta of Saint Peter and Saint Paul notable celebrations in Mexcaltitán, Nayarit and Zaachila, Oaxaca.

Independence Day


  • September 1: Annual State of the Union, Though this date is an approximation, the President delivers the address in the autumn.
  • September 16: Mexican Independence Day celebrates the day that Miguel Hidalgo delivered El Grito de Dolores, and announced the Mexican revolt against Spanish rule.

Dia de la Raza


  • October 12: Día de la Raza, This day celebrates Columbus' arrival to the Americas, and the historical origins of the Mexican race.

Day of the Dead  November
  • November 1&2: Día de los Muertos is an important Mexican holiday that merges Pre-Columbian beliefs and modern Catholicism. Europe's All Saints' Day and the Aztec worship of the dead contribute to these two days that honor Mexico's dead.
  • November 20: Mexican Revolution Day, This official Mexican holiday celebrates the Mexican Revolution of 1910.



  • December 12: Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, or the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated with a feast honoring Mexico's patron saint.
  • December 16: Las Posadas celebrates Joseph and Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem with candlelight processions that end at various nativity scenes. Las Posadas continues through January 6.
  • December 25: Navidad, Mexico celebrates the Christmas holiday.