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To understand the essence of Mexico it is necessary to visit the famous square of Mexico City, “Three Cultures “. There is a majestic Cathedral of colonial times, ancient Aztecan pyramid and rectangular box of a modern building. Those three components, Spanish, Aztecan and modern cosmopolitan make a cocktail named “Mexico”.


In the middle of 20th century, the enormous heavy basalt heads were found near Gulf of Mexico. They have been identified as the most ancient monuments of art and culture of Olmec civilization, the progenitor of all cultures in Northern Mexico up to Honduras. More recently scientists have established the fact that Mayan monuments are much more ancient than it was considered till now. In the Pre Classic period, from 1500 to 100 BC, the bases of the future cultures were set, people created and have embodied in the art a pantheon of gods and the cult of death, sacrificed humans, built cult constructions and altars, were engaged in astronomy and trade. On an outcome of Pre Classic period the bases of writing and calendar chronology were developed. Art of Mexico always carried out applied goals till the colonial period. Works of art and architecture should bring a human closer to gods.


For exactly three centuries, from 1521 to 1821, Spain Kingdom dominated over Mexico. The architecture of that time up to this day defines shapes of the cities of the former colony. In the places where there were a lot of missionaries, they started building churches.


The literary history of the colonial period began when Spanish monks burnt ancient Mayan and Aztecan manuscripts labeled as heretical documents. But also through efforts of the missionaries history and the heritage of the disappeared states and cultures have been partially restored.


In the first decades upon gaining independence of Mexico, the country fell into such a chaos that its inhabitants forgot about architecture and art. It wasn’t until Porfirio Diaz presidential period that the culture got essential improvements. In painting, the most popular genre was a portrait. At that time artist José Maria Velasco became famous for his landscapes. José Guadalupe Posadu is considered the founder of the Mexican drawing school.


Creative work of “ mural “ painters such as  Rivera, Orosco, Sicerosa have a huge value not only for Mexicans, but also for the general development of styles in the world fine art.


Rare phenomenon in the history of Mexican culture is Frieda Kahlo, the wife of Diego Rivera, who became a cult figure of the women's movement after her death.


In Mexico, there are music sounds everywhere, anytime: on holidays, in everyday life, during weddings and funerals.  “Mariachi”   is especially popular.  Manuel M. Ponse is considered the father of Mexican classical music. The international recognition was won also by Carlos Chavez. The composer and violinist Manuel Enriquez is the outstanding musical figure of present time.


National dances can be enjoyed during the local holidays. At small restaurants where dancing is allowed, the number one are Latin American rhythms, and at the night clubs,  just as everywhere else in the world, you can hear rock and pop music.


The Mexican literature has been drawing special attention of translators and readers over last decades. It is in many respects due to the poet, the essayist and publicist Octavio Paz who became a Nobel Prize laureate in 1990. The most known modern Mexican novelist is Carlos Fuentes.


The Golden Age of Mexican cinema is considered to be the years around 1940. At that time, the leading roles in musical comedies, melodramas and films were played by native Indians. Last year’s Mexico stands out not only for commercial film production, but also independent cinema that draws attention of experts and spectators of international film festivals.  
Calendar of holidays and significant dates.

 

 

Calendar of holidays and significant dates:


January, 1st –Año Nuevo (New Year's Day), is an official Mexican holiday. A lot of processions and fireworks.

 

January, 17th – Feast Day of de San Antonio de Abad is a religious holiday, during which the Catholic Church allows animals to enter the church for blessing.

 

February, 2nd – or Candlemas, is a religious holiday that is celebrated with parades, dancing, bullfights in certain cities, and the blessing of the seeds and candles. The festivities are best seen in: San Juan de los Lagos, Jalapa; Talpa de Allende, Jalisco; and Santa Maria del Tuxla, Oaxaca.

 

February - March – Carnival time is an official Mexican holiday that kicks off a five-day celebration of the libido before the Catholic lent. Beginning the weekend before Lent, Carnaval is celebrated exuberantly with parades, floats and dancing in the streets. Port towns such as Ensenada, La Paz, Mazatlán and Veracruz are excellent places to watch Carnaval festivities. Dates change slightly

 

March, 21st – The Birthday of Benito Juárez, a famous Mexican president and national hero, this is an official Mexican holiday.

 

March – April - Semana Santa is the holy week that ends the 40-day Lent period. This week includes Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is Mexican custom to break confetti-filled eggs over the heads of friends and family.

 

On May, 5th: Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican national holiday that honors the Mexican victory over the French army at Puebla de los Angeles in 1862.

 

May, 10th - Mother's Day, Due to the importance of a mother in Mexican culture, Mother's Day is an especially significant holiday.

 

June,24th - Saint John the Baptist Day is celebrated with religious festivities, fairs, and popular jokes connected to getting dunked in water.

 

June, 29th - Fiesta of Saint Peter and Saint Paul notable celebrations in Mexcaltitán, Nayarit and Zaachila, Oaxaca.

 

September, 16th - Mexican Independence Day celebrates the day that Miguel Hidalgo delivered El Grito de Dolores, and announced the Mexican revolt against Spanish rule

 

October, 12th - Día de la Raza, This day celebrates Columbus' arrival to the Americas, and the historical origins of the Mexican race.

 

November, 1st and 2Día de los Muertos is an important Mexican holiday that merges Pre-Columbian beliefs and modern Catholicism. Europe's All Saints' Day and the Aztec worship of the dead contribute to these two days that honor Mexico's dead.

 

November, 20th - Mexican Revolution Day, This official Mexican holiday commemorates the Mexican Revolution of 1910

 

December – Silver week in Taxco.

 

December, 12thDía de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, or the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated with a feast honoring Mexico's patron saint.

 

Since December, 16th - Las Posadas celebrates Joseph and Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem with candlelight processions that end at various nativity scenes. Las Posadas continues through January 6.
December , 25th Navidad, Mexico celebrates the Christmas holiday.

 

 

 

 

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