Mexico City is one of the most culturally significant cities in the world, and its numerous festivals are amongst the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture. While the festivals can be quite varied, many are themed around dancing and food.

    With so many festivities held in the city, you're sure to find a celebration when you're in town, whether it's an indigenous festival, a historic festival, an independence celebration, or even a film festival. Whatever you're interested in, you'll find something to your liking as long as you time your holiday properly. Find out about the 10 best festivals in Mexico City.


    Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe

    Enjoy a Catholic celebration

    Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe is a religious and national holiday honouring the Catholic saint each December 12th and featuring parades, fireworks, and parties in addition to special mass. The primary part of the celebration happens in local churches, but you can always partake in the parades that follow even if you don't attend a mass.

    All are welcome to enjoy this time of celebration and merrymaking that includes massive parades along with plenty of street vendors offering delicious food. Don't forget to check out the bullfights that are held during this festival as well. While the religious activities are centred around the Basilica of Guadalupe, the celebration occurs all over town.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

    photo by Diego Prado Alonso (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Día de Muertos

    Explore old and new traditions alike

    Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration held November 1-2 that honours the dead and features colourful decorations, ofrendas, face paint, and parades. While the actual Day of the Dead is on the 2nd, celebrations carry on for 2 days starting the day after Halloween.

    When you partake in this celebration, you'll find plenty to do, like seeing the parade through Mexico City. In the Zocalo, which is the main square, you'll also find colourful ofrendas, which are altars that honour the dead. They can be quite large, and some even have music and dancing going on.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico


    Independence Day

    Honour Mexico's independence

    Independence Day in Mexico is September 15th, and it's celebrated much like it would be in the United States, with patriotic colours, musical performances, parties, and fireworks. Green, white, and red paint the city amongst the decorations, lights, and people's clothing.

    Something more unique about the Independence Day celebration is the president will shout from his palace in town. Amongst the festivities, you'll find an array of delicious traditional food on offer from restaurants and street vendors, and local cantinas are overflowing with mariachi and tequila.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico


    Festival de México en el Centro Histórico

    Discover Mexican culture and history

    Festival de México en el Centro Histórico is a cultural celebration that shows off Mexico City's rich history with performing arts and fascinating exhibitions beginning in March each year. You'll find it focused around the historic city centre, and it features numerous performances you can enjoy.

    Cultural expression comes in many forms at this 2-week-long event, including dance, music, and theatre. Local artists also show off their work here along with curators who can showcase some of the best in Mexican art traditions. Don't forget to check out the operatic performances as well.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

    photo by Mwinocur (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Autumn of Tenochtitlán

    Delve into Mexico's complex history

    • History

    The Autumn of Tenochtitlán happened centuries ago, and Mexico City reflects on that event with a festival that explores the dark history and cultural diversity of the country's capital. Unlike most other events in town, this event can be quite sombre, as it's intended to recognise and honour the dark chapters of local history while also celebrating the cultural diversity present today.

    Much of the event takes place amongst archaeological sites, including Cuicuilco, where you can learn about both historical myths and important realities. Keep in mind, however, that the violent history won't be ignored in these showcases.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico


    Feria Nacional del Mole

    Celebrate mole

    The Feria Nacional del Mole is a fun event that celebrates mole, the traditional food of San Pedro Atocpan, and lets you taste all sorts of iterations of this sauce. San Pedro Atocpan is a community within Mexico City, and that's where this festival will be centred, though the entire city tends to get in on the fun to some extent.

    When you visit during this October event, you'll find several restaurant stalls set up that let you try a wide variety of mole and other traditional foods. Several artisans set up stalls as well, and you can find intricately designed traditional handicrafts amongst their wares.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

    photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Marcha del Orgullo

    Take part in the local Pride festivities

    Marcha del Orgullo is Mexico City's LGBTQ Pride march, and the celebration also includes parades, live music, and performing arts in what has become the gay capital of Latin America. In 2009, Mexico City became the first district in the country to legalise gay marriage, so it's become a hub for this event.

    Amongst the Pride celebrations, you'll find a wide variety of parades, live music performances, and dances. Bars are particularly festive spots, with many hosting pride-themed parties anyone can attend. Marcha del Orgullo is typically held around the end of June every year.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

    photo by Paula Kindsvater (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Fiesta de Santa Cecilia

    See a tribute concert

    Fiesta de Santa Cecilia celebrates a Catholic saint via a thrilling concert that's held in the famous mariachi square and typically features more than 500 different musicians in total. Attending this event feels like going to an open-air party with plenty of dancing and singing.

    The overall purpose of this event, held on November 22nd, is to preserve and promote Mexican heritage and the importance Saint Cecilia plays in Catholicism. Of course, all are invited to join in on the fun with dancing and drinking all night long, regardless of religious affiliation. If you're interested in local music, this is the event you won't want to miss.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

    photo by ProtoplasmaKid (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Ambulante Film Festival

    Take in numerous film screenings

    The Ambulante Film Festival shows a variety of documentary films produced by creators who are intimately involved in the stories they tell. This travelling festival typically stops in Mexico City near the beginning of the tour in January or February, with screenings held in various venues.

    Film screenings here highlight stories told from perspectives not often explored in media of any kind. Additionally, you'll find workshops and panels held during the event that can provide insight into production and how you could get into filmmaking yourself.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico


    Vive Latino

    Check out alternative Spanish-language music

    Vive Latino is a popular music festival held every year around March and April to show off new and evolving Spanish-speaking artists from Ibero-America. While Spanish-language music dominates the stages here, you'll find some other musicians from around the world making an appearance.

    The actual genres on display here can be quite varied, but reggae, ska, and rock music tend to be prominent. Some of the artists who have performed at the festival include Enrique Bunbury, Miguel Ríos, Sepultura, and Los Lobos, as well as non-Spanish-language acts such as The Chemical Brothers and Janes Addiction. The festival is held in eastern Mexico City at Foro Sol.

    Location: Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

    photo by ProtoplasmaKid (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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