As 2016 gets rolling, the Reporter offers readers a heads-up on the major Mexican civic holidays, traditional festivities and special events that will come up over the next 12 months.
National public holidays (highlighted below in bold type) are commemorated on January 1 (New Year’s Day), the first Monday of February (Constitution Day), the third Monday in March (Birth of Benito Juarez), May 1 (Labor Day), September 16 (Independence Day), the third Monday in November (Mexican Revolution Day) and December 25 (Christmas Day).
Under Federal Labor Laws, salaried workers, both public and private, are granted a day off with regular pay on all of these Dias de Asueto (statutory holidays). Employees who are scheduled to work on these dates are entitled to their full daily wages plus double time for the hours worked.
Banking institutions, schools, government offices, and some large corporations and businesses shut down operations on these occasions. They may also close for other celebrations of local importance.
The remaining calendar listings indicate other significant dates observed in the Guadalajara metro area or nationwide. Holidays and events marked with an asterisk (*) change dates from one year to the next.
January 1: Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day)
January 6: Día de los Santos Reyes (Three Kings Day-Epiphany). Fiestas Patronales de los Reyes Magos in Cajititlán run from December 30 through January 8.
January 17: San Antonio Abad (St. Anthony the Abbot) - blessing of farm animals
February 1: Conmemoración del Aniversario de la Constitución (Constitution Day)*
February 2: Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas)
February 9: Martes de Carnaval (Mardi Gras)*
February 10: Miércoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday)*
February 14: Día del Amor y la Amistad (Valentine’s Day)
February 14: Aniversario de la Ciudad (Anniversary of the foundation of Guadalajara, 1542) - special events held around the city.
February 19: Día del Ejercito Mexicano (Mexican Army Day)
February 24: Día de la Bandera (Flag Day)
February 29: Día Bisiesto (Leap Day)
March 4-13: Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG)*
March 18: Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows)*
March 20: Equinoccio de Primavera (Vernal Equinox), first day of Spring.*
March 20: Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday)*
March 21: Conmemoración del Natalicio de Juarez (Birth of Benito Juarez)*
March 24: Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday)*
March 25: Viernes Santo (Good Friday)*
March 27: Domingo de Resurrección (Easter Sunday)*
April 3: Horario de Verano (Daylight Saving Time begins)-move clocks forward one hour)*
April 23: Día Internacional del Libro (World Book Day), public reading marathon of an entire book by a world-famous author.
April 30: Día del Niño (Children’s Day)
May, all month: Festival Cultural de Mayo (FMC), offers a huge variety of music and dance programs staged in Guadalajara and other venues around the state.
May 1: Dia del Trabajo (Labor Day)
May 5: Cinco de Mayo (Commemoration Battle of Puebla, 1862)
May 10: Día de las Madres (Mother’s Day-Mexico)
May 15: Día del Maestro (Teacher’s Day)
May 23: Día del Estudiante (Student’s Day)
June 1: Día de la Marina Nacional (Mexico Navy Day)
June 19: Día del Padre (Father’s Day)*
June 20: Solticio de Verano (Summer Solstice), first day of Summer.*
June 24: San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist)
July 25: Santo Santiago (St. James the Great). Fiestas Patronales de Santo Santiago Apostol in Tonala run from July 17-25, culminating with the Juego de Tastoanes masked dance spectacle; similar celebrations held in Zapopan community of Nextipac and Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos.
June 29: San Pedro y San Pablo (St. Peter and St. Paul). Fiestas Patronales de San Pedro in Tlaquepaque run from June 14-30.
August 22: Día del Bombero (Fireman’s Day)
August 26-September 4: Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi (Guadalajara Mariachi Fest). The collateral Encuentro Nacional de Mariachi Tradicional runs one week prior to the main event.
August 28: Día del Adulto Mayor (Senior Citizen’s Day)
September 13: Día de los Niños Heroes (Heroic Defense of Chapultepec, 1847)
September 14: Día del Charro (Horseman’s Day)
September 15: Grito de Dolores (Cry of Independence, 1810)
September 16: Día de la Independencia (Independence Day)
September 22: Equinoccio de Otoño (Autumn Equinox), first day of Fall*
September 28: Día del Servidor Público (Jalisco Bureaucrats Day)-government offices and public institutions close.
October, all month: Guadalajara’s annual Fiestas de Octubre & Expo Ganadera (Livestock Fair)
October 12: Día de la Raza (Columbus Day)
October 12: Romería de la Virgen de Zapopan (Guadalajara-Zapopan Pilgrimage)
October 30: Horario de Invierno (Daylight Saving Time ends)-move clocks back one hour*
November 1: Día de todos Santos (All Saints’ Day)
November 2: Día de los Muertos (All Souls’ Day)
November 12: Día del Cartero (Mailman’s Day)
November 21: Conmemoración del Día de la Revolución Mexicana (Revolution Day)-parades in some places held on November 20*
November 23: Día de la Armada de México (Mexico Armed Forces Day)
November 26-December 4: Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL)*
November 29-December 12: Fiestas Patronales de la Purísima Concepcion in Tlajomulco de Zuñiga.
December 12: Virgen de Guadalupe (Patroness of Mexico) Day
December 16-24: Las Posadas (Christmas season festivities)
December 21: Solticio de Invierno (Winter Soltice), first day of Winter.*
December 24: Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)
December 25: Navidad (Christmas Day)
December 28: Día de los Santos Inocentes (Holy Innocents Day), Mexico’s equivalent to April Fools.
December 31: Año Viejo (New Year’s Eve)