There are three kinds of Mexican holidays: Statutory holidays, Civic holidays and Festivities.
Statutory holidays are days that are designated by the government and observed nationwide.
During these holidays employees are entitled to a day off with regular pay. New Years Day (January 1) Constitution Day (February 5) Benito Juarez’s Day (March 21) Labor Day (May 1) Independence Day (September 16) Revolution Day (November 20) Change of Federal Government (December 1) Christmas (December 25)
Statutory Holidays in Mexico
Most of the names of the Mexican national holidays numbered above are self-explanatory however two of these holidays may need certain clarification.
First is the Benito Juarez’s Day which is the day that commemorates the President Benito Juarez’s birthday who is regarded as the Mexico’s greatest and most loved leader of all times.
Second is the holiday of “Change of Federal Government” which is very unique holiday and it is celebrated every six years when a new president is sworn in office.
Important thing to note is that even though Christmas is a statutory holiday in Mexico and over 90% of Mexicans are Roman Catholics Mexico does not have an official religion since the 1917 when the 1917 Mexican Constitution was produced.
Civic holidays are celebrated nationwide however the employees are not entitled to a day off with pay. This however doesn’t stop Mexicans to celebrate and enjoy the holiday’s atmosphere.
Mexican Civic Holidays Army’s Day (February 19) Flag Day (February 24) Anniversary of the Oil Expropriation (March 18) Heroic Defense of Veracruz (April 21) Fifth of May (May 5) Miguel Hidalgo’s Birthday (May 8) Marine’s Day (June 1) Heroic Cadets (September 13) Cry of Dolores (September 15) End of Independence War (September 27) Morelos’ Birthday (September 30) Columbus Day (October 12)
Festivities are the traditional holidays that honor public celebrations such as Mother’s Day (very important holiday in Mexico) or religious events such as holy week, Day of the dead and Christmas Eve.
Even though these Mexican holidays are not official holidays, many of them are very important to Mexicans and they are celebrated with great joy. In fact, some of these holidays such as the Day of the Dead, Los Pasadas or Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe represent an important part of traditional Mexican culture.
Mexican Festivities Three Kings Day (January 6) Valentine’s Day (February 14) Children’s Day (April 30) Mothers Day (May 10) Teacher’s Day (May 15) Student’s Day (May 23) Father’s Day (Third Sunday of June) Day of the Dead (November 2) Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (December 12) Las Posadas (December 16 – 24) Christmas Eve (December 24) Day of the Innocents (December 28)
The Three Kings Day celebrates the day when three wise men, Gasper, Balthazar and Melchoir arrived to Bethlehem and brought gifts of gold to Jesus Christ when he was a child. This is why it is on this day that the children in Mexico receive gifts and not in the Christmas Morning.
Day of the dead is the day when Mexicans pay their respect to the dead, pray and remember family members and friends who have died. The main reason for this is that many Mexicans believe that during this day it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living.
Mexican holidays are a great insight into Mexican culture which is why they deserve your full attention if you are interested in understanding Mexicans and their way of living.
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