Mexican Holidays Facts

Mexican Holidays Facts
Holidays in Mexico are celebrated throughout the nation; as Mexico has multiple states, each may have its own regional customs as well. Although public holidays are legislated through multiple levels of government, many have strong religious significance.

El Dia de Reyes

The Translation of 'El Dia de Reyes' is 'Three Kings Day.' This Mexican holiday falls on January 6 and is special because it is considered to be the peak of Christmas season. The twelve days of Christmas prior to 'El Dia de Reyes' are also significant because they represent the length of time the three wise man traveled from far away to bring gifts to baby Jesus. Instead of exchanging gifts on Christmas day, the custom in Mexico is for children to open presents on 'El Dia de Reyes.'

Carnaval

Carnaval is a five-day celebration that begins on Ash Wednesday as the Catholic lent starts. Throughout the week prior to lent, this time is celebrated with colorful costumes, music, floats, parades, and dancing down the streets. The celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is very similar to the celebration of Carnaval in Mexico. Carnaval lasts from February 11th to February 16th.

Dia de Los Muertos

'Dia de los Muertos,' or Day of the Dead, is a holiday about the acceptance of life and death. Because Death is mere a part of life, the Mexican cultura celebrates this as a part of the cycle of life. This holiday originally came from the Catholic feast of All Soul's Day, which is a time to remember those who have passed away. As rememberance, Mexican families decorate their house with an alter; Beneath the alter they place photographs of their deceasede loved ones, and items such as food and cigarattes as offerings

Dia de Independencia

Dia de Independencia, on September 16 is a holiday the represents the inciting day of Mexico's fight for Independence from Spain. Another name for this holiday is Dieciseis de Septiembre. In addition to food and festivities, most townspeople in Mexico will gather in the town center in the middle of the night to rally and shout out sayings to commemorate the day. For example "El Grito de Independencia!" or "Viva Mexico!"

Semana Santa

Next to Christmas, this week-long celebration is very important in Mexico as it represents the time from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It is common for most Mexicans to take a holiday or go on vacation during this time. Since most of Mexico is Catholic, it is quite common to have religious-significant holidays such as Semana Santa. A common practice in many small towns during Semana Santa is to act the scene of Jesus' Crucifixion.

Noche Buena

Noche Buena, or 'Good Night,' on December 24th is a time for Mexican families to accumulate the holiday festivities of the Christmas season to end at one midnight mass, called Misa de Gallo. After this midnight mass, families return to their homes to have a Christmas dinner which includes both traditional and regional dishes such as Biscayan cod and romeritos. When dinner has ended, gifts are distributed to the children and the families will stay awake spending time with each other until daybreak.

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Article Written By Caitlin Klein

Caitlin Klein has recently had the opportunity to market for the "Wall Street Journal." She began writing professionally for Demand Studios in 2009. Klein is studying finance and Chinese at Arizona State University.

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