Festivals & Special Events

natural wondersFestivals & Special Events

day of the dead

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most revered and unique holidays, that combines pre-Hispanic rituals with Catholic traditions. During this time, families gather to remember their departed loved ones. It is believed that through this reflection and memory, they are kept alive! Altars are prepared and gravesites are decorated with candles, flowers, and the food/drink that the departed enjoyed during their lifetimes. Likely, this includes mole, tamales and mezcal. Join us on this unique exploration of the cycle of life and death in Mexico.

night of the radishes

Night of the Radishes

You likely have heard of ice carving contests, or chocolate carving contests, but radishes? On December 23, Oaxaca holds the largest (only)radish carving contest in the world. The contest is large, and the radishes are too, weighing up to seven pounds! Primarily Nativity Scenes, the carvers now use their imagination and carve everything from famous Mexican revolutionaries, like Pancho Villa, to Guelaguetza dancers. It is believed that this tradition is derived from the Christmas Eve market vendors, who used carved radish sculptures to attract customers to their stalls. This early form of advertising is now an art form and a serious contest that has been in existence since 1897. In addition to the Night of the Radishes, we will enjoy the Pageants, Posadas, Big Head parade and other colorful and exciting traditions that take place during the holidays.


The Velas of Tehuantepec

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is unlike any other region in Mexico. Tehuantepec and Juchitan are located in Mexico’s most narrow point between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, and from the moment you arrive, your senses tell you that this place is different.

The climate is hot and tropical, the landscape is rich and lush, the famous “traje” worn by women is vibrant and dramatic, the women call the shots, and the festivals known as “velas” are parties held in honor of local patron saints. The expression, “work to live” fits well here, as the reason to work is to save enough money for the next vela! So, who needs Studio 54 or any other swanky disco, when we can dance and party into the night at a Vela in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.



This is Guelaguetza

Considered a not to be missed annual Oaxaca event, the Guelaguetza is a celebration of Oaxaca’s regional costume and dance in honor of the pre-Hispanic goddess of corn, Centeotl. Villagers in full regalia arrive from their respective villages to put on a spectacle of dance and music. Dances include, the Pineapple Flower Dance from the Papaloapan region; the Turtle of the Sand danced by the famous beauties of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Dance of the Feather, representing the Zapotec/Mixtec rebellion against the Spaniards. Join us in the small villages to celebrate this most colorful and memorable spectacle of dance and music!

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