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imac Spanish Language Programs
Donato Guerra No.180
(Historic Downtown Area)
Guadalajara, Jalisco. 44100 Mexico
Tel: 52 - 33 - 3613-1080
Fax: 52-33-3613-4621  
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The Mexican holiday calendar, like the mixture of cultures that make up its people, is a mix between traditional and religious holidays and some very unique cultural holidays that you will find only in Mexico. In the cities, such as Guadalajara, you can find some of the biggest celebrations, parties and parades to commemorate everything from religious feasts and processions to celebrations of historic Mexican dates and events, to all out parties such as the celebration of life that takes place during the week of Carnaval. Following is an overview of the most prominent holiday dates on the Mexican calendar.


January 1 Año Nuevo
In Mexico, New Year's Day is an official holiday.
January 6 Día de los Santos Reyes
This is the day when Mexicans traditionally exchange their Christmas presents. This tradition uses the historic date on which it is said that the the three wise men arrived, bearing gifts for the newborn Jesus Christ. Christmas festivities begin on the traditional Christmas eve and continue through their culmination on this date.
January 17 Feast Day of San Antonio de Abad
On this traditional Mexican Catholic holiday, the church allows people to bring their farm animals through the churches to be blessed.


February 5 Día de la Constitución
This official Mexican holiday is a day set aside to celebrate the Mexican constitution.
February 24 Flag Day
This is an official Mexican holiday commemorates the Mexican flag.
February 24 Carnaval
This holiday is a five day long celebration of 'carnal' pleasures that Catholics will be giving up for 40 days during Lent. The dates vary from year to year, but the holiday always begins the weekend before Lent. This holiday is celebrated with dancing, parades and floats in the streets. The celebration in Mazatlán is the 3rd biggest such celebration in the world, after Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. The port towns of Ensenada, La Paz and Veracruz are also excellent locations for taking part in the festivities.


March 21 Birthday of Benito Juárez
This official national holiday of Mexico honors Benito Juárez, a famous Mexican president and a national hero.


(dates vary)
Semana Santa
Semana Santa, or "Holy Week" is the week that runs from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, ending the 40 days of Lent. This is the second most important holiday period, behind only Christmas, in the 90% Catholic nation of Mexico.


May 1
Primero de Mayo
This Mexican national holiday welcomes the upcoming summer much like Labor Day in the United States.
May 5
Cinco de Mayo
Perhaps the most well-known Mexican holiday outside of Mexico, this national holiday celebrates the 1862 Mexican victory over the French army at Puebla de los Angeles.
May 10
Mother's Day
Mother's Day, celebrated in many countries throughout the world, takes on a special significance in Mexico, where the central role of the mother in the family and culture is especially strong.


June 1
Navy Day
During this official Mexican holiday, regattas and parades of decorated ships can be found in many Mexican coastal cities.


September 1
Annual State of the Union Address
On or around this date each year, the Mexican President addresses the nation and the State of the Union.
September 8
Día de Nuestra Señora
This holiday is a regional holiday of the Baja area of Mexico which celebratates Baja's first Catholic mission.
September 16
Mexican Independence Day
On this date, at midnight, Mexican's shout the chant of 'Viva México' that is associated with the start of Mexico's long and bloody struggle for independence from Spain. The day commemorates the day that a speach by Miguel Hidalgo instigated the revolt that would eventually lead to independence.


October 12 Día de la Raza
This day is a celebration of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas, which would lead to waves of settlers from Spain and other countries leading to the mixture of different cultures and backgrounds that makes up the Mexican people.


November 1-2
Día de los Muertos
This holiday is a combination of the unique and very diverse cultures that make up Mexico. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an important Mexican holiday that combines traditions of Aztec worship of the dead with the European All Saints Day over these two days in order to 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
This date commemorates the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint. On this day there are feasts throughout Mexico.
December 16

Las Posadas
This date commemorates Joseph and Mary's search for a shelter in Bethlehem with processions and nativity scenes, and begins the celebration of the Navidad season which will continue though January 6th.

December 25
Since Mexico is 90% Catholic, Christmas is the single most important holiday in Mexico, and the Mexican celebration of this season lasts for about three weeks, from Las Posadas until Día de los Santos Reyes at the end of the first week in January.

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imac Spanish Language Programs is a member of the following organizations:
Centro Asociado Instituto Cervantes
Associated Center in Guadalajara, Mexico
Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera
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Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers
Federation of International Youth Travel Organizations
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
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Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce Association of Merchants and Service Providers of the Guadalajara Historic Downtown Area ASTA
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