Mexico holiday and fiesta calendar – Mexican Holidays

articles Culture & Arts Culture Index Pages Events, Holidays & Fiestas

Dale Hoyt Palfrey

Fiestas abound in Mexico. The following listing of major Mexican holidays, by no means complete, is intended to help the newcomer to Mexico understand the motive for hearing rockets blasting off at dawn, finding a local bank or post office closed on a weekday, or encountering traffic brought to a halt by a passing parade or religious procession.

Every village and each parochial sector of the nation’s larger towns and cities has a designated a holy personage in whose honor fiestas patronales are held annually. In most cases such festivities take the form a novenario, a nine-day celebration with unique characteristics that are traditional to each locality.

Many religious celebrations have their roots in the pre-Hispanic era, while most civic holidays reflect modern historical events. Government offices, banks, schools and some businesses close across the nation for major national holidays. Such shut-downs may also occur during important religious celebrations in individual localities. Essential commerce, however, is rarely suspended, so most market places, supermarkets and small family-operated grocery stores generally open for business every day year-round.

(See also the Mexconnect Food Festival Calendar)

Dates are annotated as follows:
** National holiday (non-working days) are in Bold Type
* National holiday commemoration
+ Religious holiday (fixed date)
++ Moveable feast (date varies year to year)
+* Local festival or holiday

Guelaguetza dancers © Geri Anderson, 2000
Guelaguetza dancers. © Geri Anderson, 2000

Holidays and Fiestas

January / Enero

Month dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus / Mes dedicado al Santísmo Nombre de Jesús

1+New Year’s Day / Año Nuevo **
1Solemnity of the Virgin Mary / Santa María Madre de Dios
1st SundayEpiphany / La Epifaña
2nd Sunday+Baptism of the Lord / El Bautismo del Señor
6+Three Kings Day / Los Santos Reyes
17+St. Anthony – Blessing of the Animals / San Antonio Abad
18+*Santa Prisca, Patron Saint of Taxco, Gro.
20+Saint Sebastian the Martyr / San Sebastian

February / Febrero

2+Candlemas / Día de la Candelaria
2*Constitution Day / Aniversario de la Constitución February 5, is celebrated on the first Monday of February
13++Five days before Ash Wednesday: Carnival begins
14**Valentine’s Day / San Valentín: Día del Amor y la Amistad
17+Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) / Martes de Carnaval
18+Ash Wednesday / Miércoles de Ceniza
24*Flag Day / Día de la Bandera

March / Marzo

Month dedicated to the veneration of Saint Joseph / Mes dedicado al culto de Señor San José

8+Saint John of God / San Juan de Dios
16** Birth of Benito Juarez / Natalicio de Benito Juárez March 21, is celebrated on the third Monday of March
17+*Saint Patrick, Patron Saint of San Patricio Melaque, Jalisco / San Patricio
18*Nationalization of Petroleum Industry / Expropiación Petrolera
19+(Saint Joseph’s Day /Día de San José
Index to Easter in Mexico
29+Palm Sunday / Domingo de Ramos

April / Abril

2+Maundy Thursday / Jueves Santo
3+Good Friday / Viernes Santo
3+Sábado Santo y de Gloria (Holy Saturday)
5+Easter Sunday / Domingo de Gloria (Pascua de Resurrección)
25+*Saint Mark / San Marcos, Patron Saint of Aguascalientes, Ags.
30*Children’s Day / Día del Niño

May / Mayo

Month of flowers consecrated to the Holy Virgin Mary / Mes de las flores consagrado a la Santísima Virgen María

1**Labor Day / Día del Trabajo, also San José Obrero (Saint Joseph)
3+Holy Cross Day / Día de la Santa Cruz
5*Cinco de Mayo – Battle of Puebla / Batalla de Puebla
10*Mothers Day / Día de las Madres – fixed date
12+Ascension Sunday / Domingo de Asención
15+Saint Isidore the Farmer / San Isidro Labrador – Blessing of Animals
24+Pentecost Sunday / Pascua de Pentecostés

June / Junio

Month dedicated to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus / Mes dedicado al culto del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús

6+Corpus Christi / Domingo de Corpus Cristi Corps falls on June 3, is celebrated June 6
13+Saint Anthony of Padua / San Antonio de Padua
16*Father’s Day / Día del Padre – 3rd Sunday of June
24+Saint John the Baptist / San Juan Bautista
27+Our Lady of Perpetual Help / Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro
29+Saint Peter and Saint Paul / San Pedro y San Pablo

July / Julio

Month of the Precious Blood of Christ / Mes de la preciosa Sangre de Cristo

4+Our Lady of Refuge / Nuestra Señora del Refugio
16+Our Lady of Mount Carmel / Nuestra Señora del Carmen
18-29+*La Guelaguetza-Lunes del Cerro Festival, Oaxaca, Oax. (Traditional Folk Festival)
25+Saint James the Apostle / Santiago Apóstol

August / Agosto

15+The Assumption of the Virgen Mary / La Asunción de la Virgen María
28+*Saint Augustine / San Agustín, Patron Saint of Puebla, Pue

September / Septiembre

Month of Patriotic Festivities / Mes de la Fiestas Patrias

1*President’s State of the Union Address / Día del Informe Presidencial
13Young Heros of Chapultepec / Aniversario de la muerte de los Niños Heroes
14Horseman’s Day / Día del Charro
15*Independence Cry “El Grito” / Conmemoración del Grito de la Independencia
16Independence Day / Día de la Independencia**
24+Our Lady of Mercy / Nuestra Señora de la Merced
29+*Saint Michael Archangel / San Miguel Archangel, Patron Saint of San Miguel de Allende, Gto.)

October / Octubre

Month dedicated to the Holy Rosary / Mes dedicado al Santísimo Rosario

4+*Saint Francis of Assisi / San Francisco de Asís, Patron Saint of Chapala, Jal.
7+Our Lady of the Rosary / Nuestra Señora del Rosario
12*Columbus Day / Día de la Raza
+*Pilgrimage Guadalajara-Zapopan / Romería de la Virgen de Zapopan

November / Noviembre

1+All Saints Day / Todos los Santos
2+Día de los Fieles Difuntos (Day of the Dead-All Souls Day)
Index to the Day of the Dead Section
12*Postman’s Day / Día del Cartero – post offices close)
16**Celebration of Revolution Day November 20 / Aniversario de la Revolución Mexicana
22+Saint Cecilia – Santa Cecilia, Patron Saint of Musicians
30+*Saint Andrew / San Andrés, Patron Saint of Ajijic, Jal.

December / Diciembre

Month of the Nativity of the Lord and of the Virgin of Guadalupe / Mes de la Natividad del Señor y la Virgen de Guadalupe

6+Saint Nicholas / San Nicolás
8+The Immaculate Conception / La Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen María
12+Our Lady of Guadlaupe / Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
16-24+Pre-Christmas festivities / Posadas Navideñas
Index to the Christmas Season in Mexico
24+Christmas Eve / Noche Buena
25*/+Christmas Day / Navidad*/+
28+Day of the Holy Innocents / Día de los Santos Inocentes
31New Year’s Eve / Festejos de fin de Año


Published by Dale Hoyt Palfrey © 1997; Updated on: January 1, 2020
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