Carnival Dates in Mexico

Carnival Mazatlan
••• Carnival Mazatlan, one of North Americas largest Carnival celebrations. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Carnival ("Carnaval" in Spanish) is celebrated each spring in different destinations throughout Mexico. It is held the week before Ash Wednesday ("miercoles de cenizas") which marks the beginning of Lent, the period of sobriety before Easter. The dates of celebrations may vary a bit from destination to destination, but are always held prior to Ash Wednesday. Carnival festivities reach a peak the day before, which may be referred to as Mardi Gras, "Fat Tuesday," or "Martes de Carnaval".

The dates of Carnival vary from year to year, generally falling in February, but occasionally in March..

The date is determined by the date of Easter, which is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal (also known as spring) equinox. Count six weeks prior to Easter to find the date for Ash Wednesday, and carnival is held during the week before that. Since that's all rather complicated, we've posted the dates below for easy reference.

These are the dates of Carnival for the next few years:

  • 2017 - February 22 to 28
  • 2018 - February 7 to 13
  • 2019 - February 27 to March 5
  • 2020 - February 19 to 25
  • 2021 - February 10 to 16

Find out when Holy Week (Semana Santa) is celebrated in Mexico.

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