Marketing Assistant, France
Mexico is a country where the culture is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern traditions, we picked 6 of the most interesting ones to talk about today!
A tradition involving horse-riding skills, lasso manipulation and livestock handling. It is a representation of strength and manliness in the Mexican culture. It first developed in the Mexican haciendas where it was a challenge between the workers. Nowadays it is a real sport and the tournaments are called « charreadas ». The participants are evaluated on their speed, their style and their precision.
The best place to discover charrería is in Guadalajara in September during the “Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi y la Charrería”.
Their music is present in the most important moments of the Mexican life: engagements, weddings, birthdays, baptisms and funerals. You can usually contract mariachis in the street, in a bar or in a restaurant. The price is generally applied per song, from 50 to 100 pesos in a casual place.
Their songs involve a lot of emotion and talks about classic themes like love, betrayal, politics, death, revolution and patriotism. They are made to be shared so people usually sing along with the band. Since 2011 their music is registered as Cultural and Intangible Heritage by the UNESCO. In Guadalajara, you can go to the Plaza del Mariachi (next to the San Juan de Dios church, between Calzada Independencia and Avenida Javier Mina) to contract a band or just enjoy their music.
Fun fact: the mariachis’ clothes are derived from the charrería’s traditional costumes
Día de la Independencia
On the 15th of September at night, at every balcony of every city hall in all the country, the President and the mayors commemorate the call made by Miguel Hidalgo at the beginning of the Independence War with Spain in 1810. It is called “el Grito” (the shout) and everyone is invited to repeat the names of the Mexican people who were important during this war, finishing by shouting 3 times “¡Viva México!”
Día de Los Muertos
From October 30 to November 2, it is believed that the dead come to visit the living. Altars are made in the homes of those who lost a loved one and they decorate them with candles and paper-made ornaments. Families also go to cemeteries and share prayers and songs together, they will also bring the favorite dish of the deceased person, It is one of the biggest and most famous celebrations of the year, The state of Michoacan is where this tradition is celebrated the most. most notably in the city of Morelia and the town of patzcuaro
Social gatherings from December 16th until December 24, the 9 days represent the 9 months pregnancy of Mary carrying Jesus, people play again some scenes of the Nativity. Children go to the neighbors’ house to ask for their hospitality and get to play with the famous piñatas. People also gather with colleagues, friends and family to exchange small presents and eat, drink and party together
In traditional México, When a girl turns 15 years old, she becomes a woman in the eye of society and her family organises a huge party to celebrate this important change in her life. She gets to wear a colorful princess-like dress, a diadem and has a bouquet that matches her dress.
The celebration starts at the church and goes on in another place with all the family. A speech is made in honor of the young girl, following by several dances with different partners, a show and she eventually receives a doll as a symbol of the end of her childhood.