Public holidays in Mexico

In Mexico there are three major kinds of public holidays:

  • Statutory holiday: Holidays observed nationwide. Employees are entitled to a day off with regular pay and schools (public and private) are closed.
  • Civic holiday: These holidays are observed nationwide, but employees are not entitled to a day off with pay.
  • Festivities: These are traditional holidays to honor religious events, such as Carnival, Holy Week, Easter, etc. or public celebrations, such as Mother's day, Father's day, Valentine's Day, etc.

Dia DE la Independence or Anniversary DE la Independence, September 16, commemorates Mexico's independence from Spain and is the most important patriotic statutory holiday. Parades are held and many schools are closed.

Statutory holidays

Statutory holidays (referred as "feriados" or "días de asueto" in Mexico) are legislated through the federal government and ruled by the Federal Labor Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo).[1] Most workers, public and private, are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. However, some employers may require employees to work on such a holiday, but the employee must be paid:

  • the regular pay for the statutory holiday if no work is performed by the employee, and
  • the regular pay and two additional daily salary rates if work is performed by the employee, for a total of triple the usual rate.

When a statutory holiday falls on a Sunday, Monday is considered a statutory holiday; if a statutory holiday falls on Saturday, Friday will be considered a statutory holiday.

Date English name Spanish name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Año Nuevo First day of the year.
February 5[2] Constitution Day Día de la Constitución Celebrates the promulgations of the 1857 and 1917 Constitutions (ratified on 5 February 1857 and 5 February 1917 respectively) (See also Patriotic holidays in Mexico).
Observance: First Monday of February.
March 21 Benito Juárez's Birthday Natalicio de Benito Juárez Commemorates President Benito Juárez's birthday on March 21, 1806 (See also Patriotic holidays in Mexico).
Observance: Third Monday of March
May 1 Labour Day Día del Trabajo Commemorates the Mexican workers' union movements (See also Patriotic holidays in Mexico).
September 16 Independence Day Día de la Independencia Commemorates the start of the Independence War by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810 (See also Patriotic holidays in Mexico).
November 20 Revolution Day Día de la Revolución Commemorates the start of the Mexican Revolution by Francisco I. Madero on November 20, 1910 (See also Patriotic holidays in Mexico).
Observance: Third Monday of November.
December 25 Christmas Day Navidad Christmas celebration; secular and religious holiday.

In addition to these dates, election days designated by federal and local electoral laws are also statutory holidays.

Civic holidays

Date English Name Spanish Name Remarks
February 19 Mexican Army Day Día del Ejército Celebrates the Mexican Army on the date of its 1913 foundation and honor of the 1911 Loyalty March ("Marcha de la Lealtad"), when President Madero was escorted by the Cadets of the Military College to the National Palace.
February 24 Flag Day Día de la Bandera Celebrates the current Flag of Mexico and honors the previous ones. Flag Day was implemented by President Lázaro Cárdenas in 1937.
March 18 Anniversary of the Oil Expropriation Aniversario de la Expropiación petrolera Celebrates the Oil Expropriation by President General Lázaro Cárdenas in 1938.
April 21 Heroic Defense of Veracruz Heroica Defensa de Veracruz Commemorates the defense against the United States occupation of Veracruz in 1914 by cadets, staff and faculty of the Heroica Escuela Naval Militar and personnel of the Mexican Navy.
May 5 Fifth of May Batalla de Puebla Celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army, led by Gral. Ignacio Zaragoza against French forces in the city of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.

Also widely celebrated in the United States.

May 8 Miguel Hidalgo's birthday Natalicio de Miguel Hidalgo Commemorates the birth in 1753 of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the initiator of the Mexican Independence War.
June 1 National Maritime Day Día de la Marina Celebrates both the Mexican Navy and Mexico's civil maritime sectors.
September 13 Anniversary of the "Boy Heroes" or "Heroic Cadets" Día de los Niños Héroes Celebrates the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican–American War of 1847 and the heroic and ultimate sacrifice that the Niños Héroes gave for the nation.
September 16 Cry of Dolores Grito de Dolores Celebrates the Grito de Dolores, an event that marked the start of the independence war against Spain on the eve of September 16, 1810. It took place at a church chapel in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, led by a Creole Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. See also Fiestas Patrias (Mexico).
September 27 Culmination of the Mexican War of Independence Consumación de la Independencia Celebrates the end of the Mexican Independence War in 1821, 11 years after Father Hidalgo started it, with the victory of the Army of the Three Guarantees, led by Agustín de Iturbide and Vicente Guerrero .
September 30 Morelos' birthday Natalicio de José Ma. Morelos y Pavón Commemorates the birth in 1765 of Father José María Morelos y Pavón, one of the founding fathers of the Mexican nation.
October 12 Columbus Day Día de la Raza Commemorates the Discovery of the Americas in 1492 by the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus.
November 20 Mexican Revolution Day Aniversario de la Revolución Mexicana Celebrates the upraising against dictador Porfirio Diaz and liberation of the land for farmers.
November 23 Mexican Navy Day Dia de la Armada de Mexico Celebrating the 1825 capture of the San Juan de Ulúa Fortress in Veracruz led by a joint force of Mexican Army and Navy units (the capture of the fortress is the Navy's baptism of fire, on which its first fleet under Captain Pedro Sainz de Baranda served with distinction).

Festivities

Date English Name Spanish Name Remarks
January 6 Epiphany Día de los Reyes Magos Celebrates the Biblical New Testament story of the arrival of the three wise men who each brought a gift to the Christ child. Traditionally, children receive toys, and people buy a pastry called rosca de reyes. Anyone who bites into the bread and finds a figurine of the Christ child must host a party for the Day of Candlemas (February 2). It is not a state holiday.
February 2 Candlemas Día de la Candelaria Celebrates the presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem 40 days after his birth. Traditionally, women bring a representation (i.e. statue/doll) of the baby Jesus in new clothes to be blessed by the parish priest. Afterwards, a meal of tamales is given by the person who found the baby Jesus figure in the Rosca de Reyes (see above in Epiphany). It is not a state holiday.
February 14 Valentine's Day Día de San Valentín Celebrates amorous unions. On this day, traditionally, men give chocolates, flowers, jewelry, dinner and serenade to their special women, as well as to their female friends. It is not a state holiday.
April 30 Children's Day Día del Niño Honors all the children. It is not a state holiday.
May 10 Mother's Day Día de las Madres Honors all the mothers throughout the country. It is not a state holiday.
May 15 Teacher's Day Día del Maestro Honors all the teachers throughout the country. It is not a state holiday.
May 23 Students' Day Día del estudiante Honors all the students throughout the country. It is not a state holiday.
Third Sunday of June Father's Day Día del Padre Honors all the fathers throughout the country. It is not a state holiday.
November 1 All Saints' Day (Day of the Dead) Día de Todos los Santos Honors dead relatives and friends (who were less than 18 years of age and unmarried) with candles, food and flower offerings, altars, and pre-Columbian and Christian rituals. It is not a state holiday.
November 2 All Souls' Day (Day of the Dead) Día de los Fieles Difuntos Honors dead relatives and friends (who were more than 18 years of age or married) with candles, food and flower offerings, altars, and pre-Columbian and Christian rituals. It is not a state holiday.
December 12 Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe Celebrates the day that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared on Tepeyac hill to the native San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. It is not a state holiday.
December 16–24 Las Posadas Las Posadas Commemorates the Biblical New Testament story of Joseph and Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem. Consists of candlelight processions as well as stops at various nativity scenes.
December 24 Christmas Eve Nochebuena Celebrates the eve of the nativity of Jesus, as both a secular and religious winter holiday. The traditional treats for this holiday are buñuelos, tamales and atole or champurrado. Sometimes they eat gelatina de colores (different flavors of Jell-O and a milk-based Jell-O mixed together to make a colorful treat) Las Posadas are celebrated nine days before Nochebuena, usually accompanied by a piñata party for children and dance music for adults.
December 25 Christmas Navidad Christmas celebration; secular and religious holiday.
December 28 Day of the Innocents Dia de los Santos Inocentes On this day, people pull practical jokes on each other. It is equivalent to the U.S. version of April Fools' Day (April 1). People must not believe anything that other people say nor let them borrow any amount of money. If any person has fallen victim of the joke, the person pulling the joke will say ¡Inocente palomita...!, literally meaning 'Innocent little dove..!!!' (equivalent to saying April Fools!).
December 31 New Year's Eve Víspera de Año Nuevo Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve or locally known as Año Nuevo, by downing a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties, during New Year's, with colors such as red, to encourage an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow to encourage blessings of improved employment conditions, green to improve financial circumstances and white to improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient whose slice contains the coin or charm is believed to be blessed with good luck in the new year. Another tradition is making a list of all the bad or unhappy events from the current year; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year.[1] At the same time, thanks is expressed for all the good things had during the year that is coming to its end so that they will continue to be had in the new year.[3] Mexicans celebrate by having a dinner at 1:00am with their families, the traditional meal being turkey and mole, a tradition which has now spanned worldwide. Those who want to party generally go out afterwards, to local parties or night clubs. If you're in Mexico, you can still enjoy festivities in the street. In Mexico City there is a huge street festival on New Year's Eve; celebrations center around the Zocalo, the city's main square.[4]

One can expect a lot of firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers being fired. At midnight there is a lot of noise and everyone shouts: "Feliz año nuevo!" People embrace, make noise, set off firecrackers, and sing Auld Lang Syne.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ley Federal del Trabajo" (PDF) (in Spanish). January 3, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  2. ^ "Mexico Celebrates Constitution Day February 3rd". www.banderasnews.com.
  3. ^ "Mexican customs for the New Year". Focus on Mexico. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  4. ^ "New Year's Eve in Mexico - Año Nuevo Celebrations". Gomexico.about.com. 2010-12-23. Retrieved 2010-12-31.

External links

Christmas in Mexico

Christmas in Mexico is celebrated during a season that begins near December 12 to January 6, candlemas on February 2. During this entire time, one can see nativity scenes, poinsettias and Christmas shoes. The season begins with celebrations related to the Virgin for life, the patroness of Mexico, followed by traditions such as Las Posadas and pastorelas.

There is a mass and feast on Christmas Eve, the arrival of the Three Wise Men on January 6 ending with Candlemas and the presentation of Child Jesus images at churches. These traditions are a mixture of remnants from the pre-Hispanic period, Spanish traditions, traditions created during Mexico's colonial period and later adaptations from German and United States Christmas traditions.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo] in Latin America, Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force was a boost to morale for the Mexicans. A year after the battle, a larger French force defeated Zaragoza at the Second Battle of Puebla, and Mexico City soon fell to the invaders.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. More popularly celebrated in the United States than Mexico, the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s thanks especially to advertising campaigns by beer and wine companies. Today, Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.

In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments. The city of Puebla marks the event with an arts festival, a festival of local cuisine, and re-enactments of the battle.

Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16, commemorating the Cry of Dolores, which initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

Flag Day in Mexico

Día de la Bandera ("Flag Day") is a national holiday in Mexico. Flag Day is celebrated every year on February 24 since its implementation in 1937. It was established by the President of Mexico, General Lázaro Cárdenas, in front of the monument to General Vicente Guerrero; Guerrero was the first to pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag, on March 12, 1821.

The date was selected because more than a century earlier (February 24, 1821), the "Plan de Iguala" or "Plan de las tres garantías" was proclaimed by Agustin de Iturbide and General Vicente Guerrero. This plan was based in three principles: "Religion, Independence and Unity", which were represented on the flag's colors. On this same date, Jose Magdaleno Ocampo tailored the first three color flag for what would soon be an independent Mexico. This flag, commonly known as the "Pendon Trigarante", had the colors: white, green and red in that order, arranged diagonally with three eight-point gold stars, one on the center of each color banner.

When the Pledge is recited, it is customary to salute the flag with the raised arm Bellamy Salute while speaking. When the flag is being paraded, the arm is held across the chest, palm parallel to the ground.

Good Friday

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday.Members of many Christian denominations, including the Anglican, Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Oriental Orthodox, and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services.The date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a widely instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U.S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon

Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon is a concept typical of Mexican culture. It began in the decade of the 1990s and informally refers to the vacational period from December 12 (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) to January 6 (Day of the Three Wise Men or "Tres Reyes Magos"). During this period there are several holidays which, linked together, create a "marathon" of festivities. During this period, the challenge is not only to attend the festivities but to at least drink any type of alcoholic beverage every day. This Marathon is not part of the Mexican Folklore; it is merely a pop-culture activity.

The celebrations linked together by the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon are:

December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Every evening from December 16 to December 24: The nine Posadas parties.

December 24: Last posada and Christmas Eve (Nochebuena).

December 25: Christmas

December 28: Holy Innocent's day, akin to April Fool’s Day, which in Mexico is remembered playing practical jokes.

December 31: New Year's Eve

January 1: New Year's Day

January 6: Day of the Three Wise Men ("Reyes Magos")

The last celebration of the season is Day of Candelaria on February 2. In Mexico, this festivity is linked to the feast of the Magi on January 6 by the traditional rosca de reyes. It is also common to celebrate consuming the traditional atole and tamales. However, being almost a month away from all the celebrations that happen in late December and early January, it is excluded from the "Marathon". Common celebrations include consuming alcoholic beverages daily leading up to a mass celebration on the last day of the festival.The name of the marathon (Guadalupe Reyes) has also been used in advertising. Certain comedy shows sometimes feature the fictional character of "Guadalupe Reyes", a proper Mexican name which can belong either to a male or a female.

Index of Mexico-related articles

The following is an alphabetical Mexico-related index of topics related to the United Mexican States.

List of holidays by country

Below are lists of public holidays by country.

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, among other names) is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Washing of the Feet (Maundy) and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, as described in the canonical gospels.It is the fifth day of Holy Week, preceded by Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday) and followed by Good Friday. "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, or commandment, reflecting Jesus' words "I give you a new commandment."

The day comes always between March 19 and April 22, inclusive, and will vary according to whether the Gregorian calendar or the Julian calendar is used. Eastern churches generally use the Julian system.

Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus; this period includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter. The Mass of the Lord's Supper or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on the feast of Passover, according to the three Synoptic Gospels.

Mother's Day (United States)

Mother's Day in the United States is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society. It was established by Anna Jarvis, with the first official Mother's Day celebrated at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908. In the United States, Mother's Day complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father's Day, Siblings Day and Grandparents Day.

Internationally, there are a large variety of Mother's Day celebrations with different origins and traditions, some now also having been influenced by this more recent American tradition. For the international celebration, see Mother's Day.

Outline of Mexico

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Mexico:

The United Mexican States, commonly known as Mexico, is a federal constitutional republic located in North America. Mexico is bound on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.

Religion in Mexico

Catholic Christianity is the dominant religion in Mexico, representing about 83% of the total population as of 2010. In recent decades the number of Catholics has been declining, due to the growth of other Christian denominations – especially various Protestant churches and Mormonism – which now constitute 10% of the population, and non-Christian religions. Conversion to non-Catholic denominations has been considerably slower than in Central America, and central Mexico remains one of the most Catholic areas in the world.

Mexico is a secular country and has allowed freedom of religion since the mid-19th century. Traditional Protestant denominations and the open practice of Judaism established themselves in the country during that era. Modern growth has been seen in Evangelical Protestantism, Mormonism and in folk religions, such as Mexicayotl. Buddhism and Islam have both made limited inroads through immigration and conversion.

Revolution Day (Mexico)

Revolution Day is an official Mexican government holiday, celebrated annually in Mexico on November 20th, marking the start of what became the Mexican Revolution.

Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilís, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Modern celebrations have been greatly influenced by those of the Irish diaspora, particularly those that developed in North America. However, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations for having become too commercialised and for fostering negative stereotypes of the Irish people.

Mexico Public holidays in Mexico
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