Festivals and Events in Mexico in March

Spring break is in full swing during the month of March, so keep that in mind if you're heading to one of Mexico's popular beach destinations. As for the weather, March in Mexico is usually dry and warm to hot. The third Monday is a holiday in commemoration of Benito Juarez's birthday, and there are lots of festivities to welcome spring. Here's a look at the important festivals and events you may want to attend if you're visiting Mexico in March.

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    A five-day non-profit event sponsored by the Vallarta Yacht Club, this festival is especially designed with cruisers in mind, with competitive races between boats designed for coastal and offshore cruising. Race boats and catamarans join the fun too. Nightly fiestas, live music and entertainment round out the roster of activities.

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    Actress Eva Longoria attends the press conference of the 'The Harvest' at the 26th Edition of the Guadalajara International Film Festival
    ••• Actress Eva Longoria attends the press conference of the 'The Harvest' at the 26th Edition of the Guadalajara International Film Festival.

     

    Victor Chavez / Contributor/Getty Images 

    Guadalajara, one of Mexico's largest cities located in the state of Jalisco, hosts the oldest and most important film festival in Mexico, offering the best selection of Mexican and Latin American films of the year. The festival features a variety of films including feature-length films, shorts, documentaries, and children’s films.

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    The town of Zihuatanejo, neighbor to the resort area of Ixtapa, hosts an annual festival designed to bring locals and tourists together to enjoy guitar music. Concerts are held on the beach as well as in restaurants and bars throughout the town. Proceeds from the festival go towards supporting arts and educational projects in the community.

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    This cultural celebration is one of Latin America's most vibrant international arts festivals and features unique and innovative events including opera, concerts, theater, art exhibits, and dance productions. Proceeds from the festival go toward the rescue and restoration of the art and architecture of Mexico City's historic downtown area.

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    Easter celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico
    ••• An Easter celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico. © Suzanne Barbezat

    The dates of Easter vary from year to year, but it most often falls sometime in the month of March. Holy Week festivities take place during the week leading up to Easter, but many people have the following week off as well, stretching it out to a two-week holiday. Religious processions and passion plays re-enacting Jesus' crucifixion are commonly held, but for many Mexicans this is a favorite time to hit the beach.

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    During two weeks over the Semana Santa holiday, Zacatecas has an incredible lineup of concerts and other cultural events. Admission to all events is free. Past years included performances by artists such as Air Supply, Lila Downs, Pablo Milanés, and Susana Harp.

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    This film festival offers an impressive collection of films that reflects the excellence of Latino cinema throughout the world and features local and Mexican filmmakers. More than 25 feature, documentary, and short films from Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Mexico, Spain, and El Salvador are shown at the festival.

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    Chichen Itza Equinox
    ••• Photo by Lorenia, Creative Commons

    Among other celebrations to celebrate the start of the spring season in Mexico, thousands of people flock to the main Temple of Kulkulkan at Chichén Itzá to witness the play of light and shadow which shows a serpent descending the stairs of the temple on the day of the Spring Equinox, March 20.

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    Danza de los Voladores de Papantla
    ••• HAGENS WORLD – PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty Images

    The culture of the Totonac people of Veracruz takes the spotlight at this annual event taking place during the week of the spring equinox. The festival includes concerts, workshops, and the opportunity to sample the unique cuisine of Veracruz, as well as a spectacular night-time show at El Tajín archaeological site. You'll also get a chance to see the Voladores de Papantla, a ritual that is part of the heritage of the Totonac people.

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    A Mexican curandero
    ••• Getty Images / mofles

    Shamans, curanderos (healers), and fortune-tellers are ubiquitous in the small town of Catemaco, Veracruz throughout the year, but the first Friday of the month marks their annual convention. If you'd like to have your cards or hand read, or experience a "limpia" (a spiritual and energetic cleansing), you'll find plenty of options here.

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    Benito Juarez's Birthday (Natalicio de Juarez)

    Monument to Benito Juarez
    ••• Hemiciclo a Juarez monument in Alameda Park. © Suzanne Barbezat

    A national public holiday to honor one of Mexico's most beloved leaders, this holiday is celebrated nationwide, but particularly in Oaxaca, Juarez's home state. March 21 was the great man's official date of birth, but the holiday is observed on the third Monday in March. Benito Juarez went from being a poor Zapotec orphan to become Mexico's first (and so far only) full-blooded indigenous president. The event is commemorated with civic ceremonies at monuments to Juarez throughout the country, and a long weekend. 

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    International Motorcycle Week

    Over 20,000 bikers from across the United States and Mexico converge in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, at the end of March and beginning of April for this annual celebration. The magnum event is the Great Parade, a colorful procession of international motorcycle clubs cruising 16 miles along Mazatlán’s oceanfront malecón promenade. Other events include an extreme acrobatics competition, drag racing events, and nightly concerts and performances by national rock bands.