So Mexico (and a few expats around the world) recently celebrated Dia De Los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. The two-day festival features people honoring their loved ones at the graveyard in a fiesta-like atmosphere.
It got me thinking, though – what other weird festivals does Mexico celebrate throughout the year? We’ll be headed to Central / South America at some point in the not-too-distant future, so here goes nothing:
Night of the Radishes
Photo credit: Drew Leavy
Sculpted oversized radishes, anyone? Seriously – every year just before Christmas, these radishes are brought out and sculpted for the masses to enjoy. It’s called el Noche de Rábanos in Spanish, expect everything from dioramas to recreations of famous artwork
Cancun International Film Festival
Photo credit: Jeremy Hetzel
OK, it’s not quite as weird as sculpted radishes. If you’re the sort that likes taking in movies few others have heard of – or being around people that like said movies – this is your place. Held every November in Cancun, there’s also one held in Mexico City every February and another in Guadalajara every March. First Choice is one option to getting there and around Mexico in general – check them out.
The El Cedral Festival
Photo credit: waywuwei
Head to north-central Mexico to see the power of the cross. Officially called the Festival of El Cedral and the Fiestas of Santa Cruz, it supposedly started a century and a half ago by Casimiro Cárdenas. He claimed to have been spared from death thanks to his holding a small wooden cross. Held every April, most will go for the five days worth of bullfighting, Mexican beers, feasts, the Mexican version of a rodeo, and so on.
Huamantla Bull Run
Photo credit: Steven Depolo
You’ve heard of Spain’s more popular version of the Running of the Bulls, but Mexico does it too! On an August day at noon in the state of Tlaxcala, a number of daring (foolish?) folks take to the streets in much the same way. Your task is either to outrun the bulls while the crowd cheers you on, or slink back into the stands to enjoy the action without risking life and limb. I’d be remiss if I didn’t note injuries are supposedly common, and some can get quite serious.
Carnaval in Veracruz
Photo credit: Wikimedia
Couldn’t make it to New Orleans or Brazil for Carnaval? Mexico’s version of Carnaval (literally ‘flesh farewell’) deftly mixes church, state, and people together into one outlandish festival with many parades. Dance the night away, look on as women dance to infectious Latin beats, and don’t be too surprised to see drag queens looking just as great as the real ladies dancing beside them.
Whichever festival you go to, remember to live it up and stay safe – especially around the bulls.
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Also published on Medium.