Holidays and Festivals

There are a number of holidays and festivals in and around San Cristobal. Something is happening every month, so it is always a great time to visit. Scroll down to view photos of various festivals.

JANUARY

festival1_web1 Very significant day in the indigenous villages as new religious and governmental office holders begin their year of service. The ceremonies are interesting to observe. Very colorful clothing.

Day of Kings/Dia de Reyes. Major day for family gatherings with special foods and exhange of gifts.

20 Celebration of San Sebastian. Joyful and fascinating festivals take place in Zinacantan and Chiapa de Corzo.

FEBRUARY

2 Candelaria. The sitting up of Baby Jesus takes place in homes throughout Mexico in solemn services featuring live music, followed by dancing and a feast.

5 Constitution Day, a national holiday celebrating the National Charter and offical end of the 1910 Revolution.

FEB-MARCH

Carnival Week, preceding Ash Wednesday and Lent, and one of the biggest events of the year in the area taking place in San Juan Chamula, about 10 km. from San Cristobal. The fascinating festivities occur over a week-long period.

MARCH

festival2_webSemana Santa (Holy Week) One of the most interesting weeks of the year in San Cristobal which is a major tourist destination for Mexicans throughout the country, as well as other tourists, who come to observe how churches throughout the city mark the long Easter weekend. Concident with the variety of solemn ceremonies is the annual Judas contest featuring paper maiche political figures with accompanying satirical verse. Following the judging on Saturday night, the Judas figures, filled with fireworks, are set afire.

21 National Holiday – Birthday of Benito Juarez.

APRIL

Feria de la Primavera (Spring Fair) A very festive period in the city, featuring special music Spring Fair concerts, art exhibits and bullfights, as well as the traditional fair for people of all ages. Offically begins on Easter Sunday, but a preview of Fair activiities takes place in a gala event on the zocalo a week in advance. During this same period, the 1528 founding of San Cristobal de Las Casas is celebrated.

MAY

1 Labor Day, a national holiday. Parades in all major cities.

5 Cinco de Mayo, a national holiday commemorating French defeat at the Battle of Puebla.

MAY-JUNE

“White-faced ‘Chamulas’ at the Corpus Christi Fiesta.” copyright Jack Nelson, Mexican Culture Tours

“White-faced ‘Chamulas’ at the Corpus Christi Fiesta.” copyright Jack Nelson, Mexican Culture Tours

Corpus Christi Day. Religious holiday. All children are taken to churches to be blessed.

JUNE

24 Day of St. John the Baptist. Seranades, parades, pilgrimmages and fireworks, with the biggest celebration taking place in San Juan Chamula.

AUGUST

10 San Lorenzo Festival, Zinacantan. This is one of the most colorful festivals in the area throughout the entire year, featuring horse racing up and down the main street, lots of music, unique ceremonies, etc. The festival continues for the better part of a week, but the 10th of August is the biggest day.

15 Assumption Day. Carpets of flowers decorate the churches.

SEPTEMBER

15-16 Mexico Independence Day – A fiesta par excellence commemorating independence from Spanish rule in 1810.   The celebration begins in a big way with “El Grito de Dolores!” at midnight on the 15th on the main plaza/zocalo, followed by fireworks.  ”El Grito” re-enacts the cry of Father Miguel Hidalgo who took to the pulpit in the town of Dolores to implore parishioners to join him in taking up arms against the Spanish government.

NOVEMBER

1 & 2 Dia de Muertos/Day of the Dead festivals take place on November 1 and continue the next day, Todos Santos/All Saints Day. The most important religious and Indian festival of the year throughout Mexico with families visiting cemetaries embellishing tombs with bread, candles, beverages, cookies and cigarettes. A festive atmosphere celebrating the dead prevails.

20 National holiday commemorating the Revolution of 1910.

DECEMBER

5 to 12 The Virgin de Guadalupe, Mexico’s most revered saint, is celebrated during this most festive week of the year in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Solemn and festive parades take place simultaneously. The Church of Guadalupe in San Cristobal is beautifully decorated with services taking place continuously while outside live bands are performing and food stands are doing a land office business.

25 Navidad/Christmas. A very quiet time in the city while families gather. Christmas Eve services take place throughout the area and one of the most interesting occurs in San Juan Chamula beginning at midnight.

28 Day of the Innocents. Mexican equivalent of April Fool’s Day.

31 Change of religious and governmental authorities take place in many indigenous communities. Interesting and colorful. This event occurs on January 1 in some villages.

Previous Frame Next Frame