Have you ever asked yourself why Cinco de Mayo is so popular in the U.S.? Maybe you’ve even asked this question aloud. The very common, very incorrect answer is that Cinco de Mayo is the equivalent of the 4th of July in the U.S.
It’s not. Nope. Not at all.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s defeat of French troops in the Battle of Puebla. And, as most Mexican citizens will attest, it is not the holiday many “festive” Americans like to make it out to be. If you’re really looking to celebrate a Mexican holiday that locals love, don’t fret if you were a no-show on May 5th.
Here are 3 Mexican holidays more popular than Cinco de Mayo:
1. Independence Day:
Celebrated on September 16, Mexico’s Independence Day (aka Dia dela Independencia) marks the day the war for independence began in 1810. On the evening of September 15, bells rings around the country to mark the “Cry of the Dolores” and sets in motion a series of the celebrations. September 16 is marked by parades, band competitions, localized special events, concerts and special television programming. In Cabo, celebrations begin with the ringing of the bells in San Jose Del Cabo and are followed by fireworks, folk dancing, mariachi bands, picnics, parades and more.
2. Revolution Day:
On the 3rd Monday every November, Mexico commemorates what was the start of the Revolution which led to dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori being overthrown in 1911. As part of Mexico’s Revolution Day celebrations, festivals, parades and bazaars are held throughout the country. In observance of this national holiday, public offices, schools and some businesses are closed. Expect parades and other celebrations around Los Cabos.
3. Day of the Dead:
Dia de Muertos, often associated with the U.S. holiday of Halloween, is actually about family and friends coming together to celebrate loved ones who have passed. During this time, it is believed that the deceased are “present,” and celebrated as such. The activities surrounding Dia de Muertos (creation of altar, cooking favorite foods of the deceased, etc) it thought to support their spiritual journey. The Mexican Day of the Dead is celebrated from October 30 to November 2. It is important to remember that much of this holiday is celebrated privately with family, but is still an excellent time to visit, nonetheless. The altars, the gifts, the harvest festivals, it all combines for a memorable Mexican vacation.
Of course, being a predominantly Catholic country, Mexico also enjoys beautiful celebrations of holidays like Easter and Christmas. In Cabo San Lucas, you can expect some pretty epic New Year’s parties, as well!