A Deep Dive Into Mexico's National and Bank Holidays

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November 29, 2023
4 min read

Mexico is a country rich in culture and traditions, and its national holiday celebrations are no exception. National holidays in Mexico are days of great significance that commemorate important events and people throughout the country's history.

These holidays play an important role in Mexican society, uniting families, communities, and even entire regions. On the other hand, bank holidays in Mexico are less tied to Mexican culture and more related to the typical calendar of days off work in many countries.

They represent an opportunity for workers to rest and enjoy free time with their loved ones.

Learn more about other Mexican traditions in our country guide here. I'll be able to provide you with more travel advice on navigating your way south of the border.

Looking to visit but unsure about safety? No worries, I give advice on how to travel safely in Mexico.

National Holidays: Celebrating the History and Culture of Mexico

Mexico has a rich history of national holidays, each with their unique cultural significance. National holidays are days that commemorate important events or people in Mexican history. They are celebrated throughout the country and often include special traditions, food, music, and festivities.

The Significance of these Holidays in Mexico

National holidays hold significant importance in Mexican culture as they represent the country's heritage and identity. The celebrations provide opportunities for Mexicans to come together to honor their shared history and to reflect on what it means to be Mexican.

Important National Holidays in Mexico

The most important national holiday in Mexico is Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) which is celebrated on September 16th. This day marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.

Mexicans celebrate by dressing up in traditional clothing, attending parades, singing patriotic songs, and eating traditional foods such as pozole (a stew made with hominy). Another significant national holiday is Revolution Day (Día de la Revolución) on November 20th.

This day commemorates the start of the Mexican Revolution against dictator Porfirio Diaz in 1910. Celebrations include parades, fireworks, and reenactments of battles from the revolution.

Celebrating National Holidays Across Mexico

National holidays are celebrated differently depending on where you are in Mexico. For example, during Independence Day celebrations in Mexico City's main square (Zócalo), a massive flag is raised while crowds chant "Viva México!" Meanwhile, towns across Oaxaca state celebrate by breaking piñatas filled with candy or drinking mezcal (a type of liquor made from agave plants). National holidays play an essential role in celebrating Mexican culture across different regions within the country.

These holidays provide an opportunity for Mexicans to come together and celebrate their shared heritage, history, and identity. From parades and fireworks to traditional foods and music, there is no shortage of festivities during national holidays in Mexico.

Bank Holidays

Bank holidays are days off for workers that are set by the government and recognized by financial institutions. You can find out more about banks and using ATMs in Mexico here.

These holidays are different from national holidays, which are days of observance for important events in the country's history. On bank holidays, banks and other financial institutions close their doors, and people have the day off from work.

List of Bank Holidays in Mexico

Mexico celebrates a total of seven bank holidays throughout the year. These include:

  • New Year's Day (January 1st)
  • Constitution Day (February 5th)
  • Birthday of Benito Juarez (March 21st)
  • Labor Day (May 1st)
  • Independence Day (September 16th)
  • Revolution Day (November 20th)
  • Christmas Day (December 25th)

The Impact on Businesses and Workers

The bank holidays in Mexico have a significant impact on both businesses and workers. For businesses, these days off can mean a loss of revenue or productivity due to the closure of financial institutions.

However, some businesses use this time to offer special promotions or sales to attract customers who have the day off. For workers, bank holidays offer a much-needed break from work and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

In some cases, employers may require workers to work on bank holidays if they are in essential industries like healthcare or public safety. While national holidays celebrate significant moments in Mexican history, bank holidays provide much-needed breaks for workers and also impact businesses across the country.

Regional Differences

Different Celebrations in Different Regions

While national holidays and bank holidays are celebrated throughout Mexico, the way in which they are observed can differ greatly depending on the region. This is due to the country's diverse history and traditional customs.

For example, Dia de los Muertos, a holiday that honors deceased loved ones, is more widely celebrated in southern states like Oaxaca compared to other parts of Mexico. In this region, people create intricate altars adorned with marigold flowers, candles, and offerings of food and drinks for their deceased loved ones.

The Rich Tradition of Oaxaca

In Oaxaca, Dia de los Muertos is a major celebration that takes place over several days. The streets come alive with colorful parades and processions featuring performers dressed in elaborate costumes depicting skeletal figures. In addition to the traditional offerings made at home altars, there are also public altars erected throughout the city for visitors to pay their respects.

The Influence of Spanish Culture

The way in which holidays are celebrated can also be influenced by Spanish culture. For example, during Holy Week (Semana Santa), many cities hold reenactments of Jesus' crucifixion as well as Easter Sunday processions where participants dress up in ornate costumes carrying religious icons through the streets.

Mexican national holiday culture is rich with diversity and regional differences play a significant role in how these celebrations are observed. Whether it's Dia de los Muertos or Christmas Day, each Mexican state has its own unique traditions that make these holidays special to their communities.

Wrapping up the Holidays

Mexican national holiday culture is rich and diverse, reflecting the country's fascinating history and unique blend of indigenous and Spanish traditions. From Independence Day to Cinco de Mayo to Dia de los Muertos, there are many special days throughout the year that bring people together to celebrate their shared heritage.

But no matter how they change in the future, these holidays will always remain an essential part of what makes Mexico such a vibrant and fascinating place.

So next time you're in Mexico during one of these special times of year, take some time to join in the festivities and experience for yourself what makes Mexican national holiday culture so unique.

Find out more on special holidays in Mexico. Here I discuss Cinco de Mayo, Dia de los Muertos and more.


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I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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