Guide to Mexico’s public holidays, civic holidays, and annual festivity dates
Statutory holidays are legislated at a Federal level and dates given as a holiday by statute are termed locally as “Dias Feriados.” There are currently ten statutory holidays in Mexico, as well as a range of civic holidays and regional/national festivities.
See Also: When to visit Mexico: Seasons and Events
Statutory Public Holidays Dates in Mexico
Civic Holidays in Mexico
Principal Annual Festivity Dates in Mexico
Statutory Public Holiday Dates in Mexico
Statutory holidays are dates decreed as national holidays for all workers in Mexico. There are currently ten statutory holiday dates in Mexico, as follows:
Año Nuevo. New Year’s Day. Banks, offices and factories remain closed.
Dia de la Constitucion. This day celebrates the promulgation of the country’s 1917 Constitution The date is observed on the first Monday in February. See: Bridges to Cross.
Cumpleaños de Benito Juarez. The birth date of Benito Juarez, Mexico’s first and most revered President, is celebrated with a public holiday. The date is observed on the nearest Monday to his birth date every March.
See Blog: Bridges to Cross
See Blog: A Brief Comment on Benito Juarez
Semana de Pascua. Easter week holidays vary depending on each year: consult your calendar for details. In Mexico, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are designated public holidays.
See Blog: Mexico City During Easter Week
Dia del Trabajo. Mexico, like many other industrialized countries, Mexico celebrates Labor Day on May 1 every year, commemorating the advent of worker’s unions. All banks and offices close, but most shopping centers remain open for business.
Dia de la Independencia. This date commemorates the date when Father Miguel Hidalgo made his ‘cry for independence’ on September 16, 1810 in the town of Dolores Hidalgo — an event that ultimately led to Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule. Independence celebrations take place on the evening of September 15; September 16 is a public holiday.
Dia de los Fieles Difuntos. Mexico’s “Day of the Dead”, celebrations take place over 2 days (November 1st and 2nd) and contemporarily, October 31 is often included, taking-in Halloween. Mexico’s banks and businesses close on November 2, to observe this important religious holiday in Mexico.
See Blog: Day of the Dead
Dia de la Revolucion. November 20 commemorates the start date of Mexico’s 1910 revolution, led by Francisco I. Madero. The date is observed on the third Monday in November.
See Blog: Bridges to Cross
Transmision del Poder Ejecutivo Federal. Mexico’s Federal Government and Presidency returns for re-election every six years. On the date of transition, which is December 1 every six years, Mexico observes a public holiday. The next holiday is due to be observed on December 1, 2018.
Dia de Navidad. Christmas Day is observed with a public holiday in Mexico.
See: Christmas in Mexico
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Civic Holidays in Mexico
In addition to the national holidays decreed by statute, Mexico observes a number of other Civic Holidays. These are not holidays although some states and municipalities may observe them and offer workers time off in their locale.
Dia del Ejercito. Army Day, also known as Dia de la Lealtad (Day of Loyalty), commemorates the day when President Madero was escorted to the National Palace by cadets of the nation’s military college.
Dia de la Bandera. Flag Day was introduced by President Lazaro Cardenas, a man best known for having nationalized Mexican oil reserves in the 1930’s. The day commemorates Mexico’s current flag as well as previous ones. Schools often get children to undertake flag research projects for presentation on this day.
Anniversario de la Expropriacion Petrolera. This day commemorates the day in 1938 when President Lazaro Cardenas expropriated all oil reserves and declared oil a strategic Mexican national asset.
Heroica Defensa de Veracruz. The Herioc Defense of Veracruz, commemorates the USA’s occupation of Veracruz in 1914.
See Also: Guide to Veracruz
Batalla de Puebla. The Battle of Puebla, or more commonly referred to as simply Cinco de Mayo, is observed as a public holiday in the state of Puebla, but nowhere else in Mexico. The date commemorates the victory of a small Mexican army against a French army double the size on May 5, 1862. The French re-took the city a year later and soon after installed Emperor Maximilian in 1864. The date is far more widely celebrated by people in the USA than in Mexico itself; possibly due to beer and liquor companies aligning themselves with the date as part of their US marketing. The date is sometimes mistakenly associated with Mexico’s Independence, which is September 16.
See Blog: Cinco de Mayo in Mexico
Cumpleaños de Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. Miguel Hidalgo is known as the “Father of Mexican Independence”. Although he and his conspirators were captured and executed by the Spanish for their insurgency against the Spanish Crown, his movement gave inspiration and created a political vacuum that eventually led to Mexico’s independence from Spain and, alongside Ignacio Allende and Jose Maria Morelos, is a revered personality in Mexico’s independence history.
Dia de la Marina. Mexico’s Navy Day, acknowledging the nation’s maritime service men and women. The day is commemorated with various military parades.
Dia de los Niños Heroes. “Boy Heroes” (or Cadet Heroes); this day commemorates the events which took place at the Battle of Chapultepec, in modern-day Mexico City. The battle, which took place during the Mexican American war in 1847, gave victory to US troops over Mexican forces defending Chapultepec Castle. According to military records, six cadets refused to fall back as the superior US forces moved to take the castle; choosing to fight to the death; the last of the six is said to have wrapped himself in a flag and jumped from the castle point. The event is also commemorated in a permanent monument of six pillars, which stands at the foot of the castle near the capital’s principal boulevard, Paseo de la Reforma.
Consumacion de la Independencia. Consummation of Independence; this date marks the end of the War of Independence, eleven years after Miguel Hidalgo’s ‘cry for independence’.
Cumpleaños de Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon. Birth date of Jose Maria Morelos, a general in the armed struggle for independence who took up leadership of the rebellion following the execution of Miguel Hidalgo. Jose Maria Morelos was captured and executed by the Spanish for treason in 1815. Following the execution his Lieutenant, Vicente Guerrero, continued the armed struggle against the Spaniards for Mexican independence. The city of Valladolid was later renamed in his honor to present-day Morelia.
See Also: Guide to Morelia.
Dia de La Raza. Columbus Day; commemorates the Discovery of the New World by the Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus.
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Principal Festivity Dates in Mexico
These festivities are generally observed in modern-day Mexican culture, but they are not statuatory or civic holidays in Mexico.
Epiphany, also known in Spanish as Dia de los Reyes Magos. In previous generations it was on this day that children received their holiday gifts; today, children receive their gifts at Christmas and sometimes an additional gift on this date. It’s also the date when Rosca de Reyes is taken, a sweet bread inside which is hidden a plastic doll. If your slice contains the doll, you host a party at your home on February 2, Candles mass, and serve Mexican corn tamales.
Dia de la Candelaria – Candle mass. This is the date when tamales, flavored (sweet or sour) corn paste wrapped in corn leaves and steamed, are eaten. If your slice of Rosca de Reyes contained the plastic doll, traditionally you serve tamales at a house party on this date.
Not traditionally a Mexican holiday, but with the Anglo-American influence February 14th is celebrated as Valentines Day — Dia del Amor y la Amistad — particularly in more urban centers across the country.
Dia del Niño — Children’s Day is widely observed in Mexico. It’s not a holiday but children receive gifts from family members on this day.
Dia de las Madres — Mother’s Day is an important cultural date in Mexico, as the country has a strong matriarchal culture. Families take their mothers and grandmothers out to lunch. Restaurants are very busy on this date.
Dia del Maestro — Teacher’s Day, traditionally school-age children will take their home room teacher a small gift.
Third Sunday in June
Dia del Padre – Father’s day in Mexico. Children will buy a gift for their father and some families take their fathers out to lunch. Restaurants are very busy on this date.
November 1 & 2
Dia de los Muertos, also Dia de los Fieles Difuntos: All Saints Day and All Souls Day. One of the most important religious holidays in Mexico. November 1 is not a public holiday but November 2 is. Halloween (October 31) is often tied-in with the festivities these days.
See Blog: Celebrating Life on Day of the Dead in Mexico
Dia de la Virgen Guadalupe – Not a public holiday but an important religious holiday in Mexico.
See Blog: The Virgin Guadalupe and Juan Diego
Posadas Navideñas – Christmas processions begin on the 16th and run until Christmas Eve on December 24.
See Blog: Posadas Navideñas
December 24 & 25
Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and Dia de Navidad (Christmas Day). Traditionally, Mexicans take their main Christmas meal and open presents on the evening of the 24th. Some families have taken up the Anglo-American tradition of eating on the 25th. The 25th is a public holiday, but the 24th is a normal working day in Mexico.
Dia de los Santos Innocentes — Day of the Innocent Saints. This is a day when Mexicans traditionally play practical jokes on each other, similar to April Fool’s day in the Anglo traditions.
New Year’s Eve. New Year’s eve is a traditionally a family affair in Mexico, although the squares of main towns and cities will fill up with revelers celebrating the New Year.
See Blog: New Year Celebrations in Mexico
Mexico Events Calendar: For details about national and local holidays festivities and other celebrations across Mexico, connect to the Mexico Events Calendar here on Mexperience.
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Is 7 days long enough in Mexico? ›
Seven days allows enough time to enjoy a couple different regions of Mexico. It's a great opportunity to mix and match cultural outings with nature excursions and even some beach time. That said, if you'd prefer to spend more time getting to know one place, that's certainly an option.Is 1 week long enough in Mexico? ›
A one-week itinerary is just enough to experience a range of what Mexico has to offer. A great way to enjoy a week in Mexico is to combine a visit to one of Mexico's charming colonial cities followed by a few days on the coast.How many public holidays does Mexico have? ›
Mexico currently celebrates seven national holidays, four official bank-only holidays, and one traditional holiday. Under the Labor Laws of Mexico, businesses are required to provide a paid day off to employees for the seven national holidays only.Is 5 days enough in Mexico? ›
Five days in Mexico City is a great amount of time to see loads of sites and fill your belly with the very best eats. This 5-Day Mexico City itinerary will help you plan your days and nights, enjoy the bars and restaurants that the locals love most, and find the best possible places to stay.What month should I not go to Cancun? ›
Just try to avoid traveling from mid-March to early April – that's when spring breakers descend on the Yucatán's shores. There are also significant discounts in late spring, summer and fall, but Cancún summers are sweltering and the fall months are prone to storms.Is 6 nights enough in Cancun? ›
You need to spend 7 full days to explore all of Cancun such as the Hotel Zone (clubs and beaches), Downtown (lots of shopping and food), Cenotes (deep natural wells), Tulum (mayan ruins), Xel-Ha Park (aquatic theme park), and Zip Lining are some of the best things you need to experience while staying in Cancun.Is 4 days in Mexico City enough? ›
How long should I spend in Mexico City? You could easily spend a week in Mexico City and not get bored. But if you, like us, are on a tight schedule, 3-4 days is enough to get a feel for Mexico City and see some of its best parts.Is 10 days enough in Cancun? ›
Ideal time to get to know Cancun well
However, after 10 days, more or less, know that you will be able to visit many beaches, make the most of the tours that the city offers, visit the malls in the region, eat at different restaurants, explore the main tourist attractions and more.
Cancun is a safe city to visit with friendly residents and a low crime rate compared to other Mexican cities. While most visitors have no problems, there are a few dangerous places near Cancun.Why is March 21 a holiday in Mexico? ›
El Día de Benito Juárez (Benito Juárez Day) is a national Mexican holiday celebrating Mexico's former president and national hero's March 21st birthday. A liberalist and a reformist, Juárez was born to indigenous Zapatec parents in 1806.
What is Mexico's national holiday? ›
Mexico is the best place to be on September 16, Mexican Independence Day. This fiesta-friendly holiday celebrates Mexico's declaration of independence from Spain in 1810, and it's filled with national pride, colorful parades, mariachi concerts, and food, food, and more Sabrosa food.What is Mexico known for? ›
Mexico is known for its rich culture, ancient ruins, dazzling beaches, and incredible cuisine. Tour Mayan temple ruins by day and indulge in fantastic food while listening to the rhythms of live music by night. Lounge on tropical beaches and explore the vibrant corals and marine life of the underwater world.What is the best month to visit Mexico City? ›
Overall, the best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May, before the rainy season begins. Mexico City is typically slightly busier during the spring, except around Easter when the locals tend to travel out of the city. The crowded streets are worth braving for the perfect weather.Is 3 days in Mexico City enough? ›
There's a lot to do in Mexico City, and 3 days in the capital will give you plenty of time to see the highlights. You'll need to be ready for long days, however, as this is a huge city. If you have the time, a few extra days for day trips out of the city or to get into more depth at the museums is definitely worth it.How many days should I stay in Mexico? ›
A week is just enough time to fit some of the country's most unique and fascinating destinations into your Mexico vacation itinerary. Start your trip in Mexico City with two days to get your bearings and eat your heart out.Can I drink the water in Cancun? ›
The short answer is that anyone visiting Cancun on vacation is best advised to drink bottled water. Regardless of whether the tap water meets the standards of safety needed to be safe for drinking, a change in water from what you are used to can cause an upset stomachs.Where should you not stay in Cancun? ›
What areas should you avoid in Cancun? Avoid all areas at night apart from the Zona Hotelera – this one is fairly safe. During the day, stay away from non-touristy areas or get a local guide to show you around.What's better Cancun or Cabo? ›
Cancun is home to beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, while Cabo is mainly known for the luxury stays and pampering. If you want to party, Cancun is the place for you, but if you prefer a laidback atmosphere and more time spent relaxing, Cabo is the better choice.Is 2 weeks in Cancun too long? ›
Two weeks are fine. So many things to do besides just staying at your resort. Some suggestions are: * Day trip to Isla Mujeres.Is Cancun cheaper than Hawaii? ›
Reasons to visit Cancun
Cancun is exponentially cheaper than Hawaii, so your money goes way further when visiting Cancun. Not only are hotel prices better and flights to and from very affordable, but everything else you can do on holiday is much less expensive.
How long is too long in Cancun? ›
Many people vary on the length of time, but a minimum of 3-5 days is a good start if you want to hit the most important stops in Cancún. If you want to experience all Cancún has to offer, tourists recommend 7-10 days.Can you drink Mexico City water? ›
The Mexico City tap water, like the tap water in the rest of Mexico, isn't considered safe for human consumption. Whether you're in a huge city like Mexico City, big city like Guadalajara or Monterrey, or even a small pueblo magico (magic town) like Valladolid or Valle de Bravo — just don't drink the water in Mexico!.Is 2 days in Mexico City enough? ›
Two days is definitely enough time to get a taste of Mexico City. You can't hope to see all of Mexico City in two days, but you'll definitely be able to scratch the surface. What is this? During a weekend in Mexico City, you'll be able to explore some of the most popular neighbourhoods and visit some of the top sights.Is it safe to walk around Mexico City? ›
The Mexico City neighborhoods of Centro Histórico, Roma, Juarez, Polanco, San Rafael, Condesa, Zona Rosa, and Coyoacán are well-traveled and generally safe.Is it better to stay in Riviera Maya or Cancun? ›
Despite the fact that the beach is beautiful in both places, some people prefer the beach in Cancun because it's wider and more vibrant in color than the beach in the Riviera Maya. Many honeymooners choose the Riviera Maya because the region tends to be more romantic.Is it better to go to Cancun or Tulum? ›
To sum it up, both Cancun and Tulum have great white sand beaches and turquoise water. However, Cancun has undoubtedly the bluest water of the entire Riviera Maya and for that reason, if you want to swim in incredibly blue water, the hotel zone in Cancun has the better beaches.Do I need cash in Cancun? ›
Cash is a necessity in Cancun, given that many restaurants and gift shops don't accept credit cards. Like many other airports around the world, the Cancun airport is jam-packed with money exchange kiosks looking to convert your money into Mexican pesos.Is Mexico safe in 2022? ›
Staying safe in Mexico
“In general, travelers should avoid travel to areas unlikely to be visited by tourists. When transiting, avoid public transport and hailing taxis on the street, and use app-based services or regulated taxi stands. For drivers, Ruuska says it's best to avoid traveling overnight.
Safety in Cancun and Los Cabos
Currently, both the states of Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur have Level 2 travel advisory warnings, which encourage travelers to exercise increased caution. That said, by and large, travel to both Cancun and Los Cabos is safe.
There are sharks in Cancun but chances of being attacked by one are so remote as to not even give a second thought. Sharks are an essential part of the Caribbean ecosystem. Sharks have now become an intrinsic part of Cancun tourism. Some practices of which are natural, well regulated and should be enjoyed.
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A week is just enough time to fit some of the country's most unique and fascinating destinations into your Mexico vacation itinerary. Start your trip in Mexico City with two days to get your bearings and eat your heart out.How can I spend 7 days in Mexico? ›
- Day 1 – Easy-Going Exploration in Roma.
- Day 2 – All About the Historic Center.
- Day 3 – Museums and Markets of Coyoacan.
- Day 4 – Spend the Day in Puebla.
- Day 5 – Luxury in Polanco.
- Day 6 – The Teotihuacan Pyramids.
- Day 7 – Explore Chapultepec Park.
You could easily spend a week in Mexico City and not get bored. But if you, like us, are on a tight schedule, 3-4 days is enough to get a feel for Mexico City and see some of its best parts. It's just a taste though. To really delve in, we think you'd need at least 5 days.What is the safest part of Mexico to visit? ›
- Merida. Widely acknowledged as the safest city in Mexico (and even Latin America), your biggest safety concern in Mérida will probably be the busy traffic. ...
- Playa del Carmen. ...
- Mexico City. ...
- Puerto Vallarta. ...
- San Miguel de Allende. ...
- Sayulita. ...
The best time to visit Mexico is during the dry season between December and April, when there is virtually no rain. The coolest months are between December and February, although temperatures can still reach averages of 28°C during the dry season. The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October.How much money should I bring for a week in Mexico? ›
So, how much spending money should I bring to Mexico? On a mid-range budget, you should expect to spend $110 USD ($2200 MXN) per person daily. This accounts for 3 meals a day, transportation fare, and one activity per day(tours, attractions,etc.).Is 2 weeks enough for Mexico? ›
It's an exciting and varied destination to experience some truly great moments. But it's also vast and a 2-week Mexico itinerary can only scratch the surface. Therefore, this itinerary covers the highlights of the southern and eastern half of the country, avoiding the few more difficult places to visit in Mexico.Is 2 weeks in Cancun too long? ›
Two weeks are fine. So many things to do besides just staying at your resort. Some suggestions are: * Day trip to Isla Mujeres.What is the best area to stay in Mexico? ›
- Playa Del Carmen. Credit: posztos/shutterstock.com. ...
- Mexico City. Aztec display in the zocalo in Mexico City. ...
- Tulum. Tulum, Mexico. ...
- Puerto Vallarta. Credit: karamysh/Shutterstock.com. ...
- Cabo San Lucas. Credit: Bigstock.com. ...
- San Miguel de Allende. Credit: jiuguangw via Flickr. ...
- Zihuatanejo. ...
Is 3 days enough in Cancun? ›
Three days in Cancun isn't a lot, but it's enough to explore and have an adventure. This itinerary is based on a stay at an all-inclusive resort in the Zona Hotelera, so it will involve a lot of downtime at the beach and meals at the resort.Is 3 days in Mexico City enough? ›
There's a lot to do in Mexico City, and 3 days in the capital will give you plenty of time to see the highlights. You'll need to be ready for long days, however, as this is a huge city. If you have the time, a few extra days for day trips out of the city or to get into more depth at the museums is definitely worth it.Is Mexico City cheap? ›
Mexico City can be an extremely inexpensive place if you stick to the city's affordable options. Mexico City has hundreds of cost-effective neighborhoods, activities, and restaurants. All it takes is a little bit of research and planning before your visit to find them.What is the most visited place in Mexico? ›
1. Cancun. Cancun is one of the most famous travel destinations in Mexico. It has amazing beaches and beautiful hotels.Is Mexico expensive to visit? ›
Mexico is generally very affordable, but due to its popularity and location, the Yucatan is slightly more expensive than other parts of Mexico that receive less tourism. Budget travelers can survive on around $30 – $40 USD per day.