Festivals and Events in Mexico in March

El Castillo (Kukulkan), Chichen Itza, Mexico
Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

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—at least compared to the rainy summer months—and warm to hot, depending on where you visit. The third Monday is a holiday in commemoration of Benito Juarez's birthday, and there are lots of festivities to welcome spring. From Baja California to the Yucatan Peninsula, and everywhere in between, you can find exciting festivals and events to attend when you're visiting Mexico in March.

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Banderas Bay Regatta and Nautical Festival

Sailboat on water at International Banderas Bay Regatta

International Banderas Bay Regatta

The Banderas Bay Regatta is a five-day non-profit event sponsored by the Vallarta Yacht Club and specially designed with cruisers in mind. The races take place in Banderas Bay right off the coast of beautiful Puerto Vallarta, so it's easy to reach for U.S. travelers looking for a spring getaway.

Competitive races are scheduled between boats designed for coastal and offshore cruising, although sailboats and catamarans join the fun, too. You don't need your own boat to enjoy the festivities, since there are nightly fiestas, live music, and lots of drinking to round out the roster of activities.

02 of 11

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, located in the state of Jalisco, hosts the oldest and most important film festival not just in Mexico but all of Latin America, offering the best selection of Mexican and Spanish-language films of the year. The festival features a variety of pictures including feature-length films, shorts, documentaries, and children’s movies

03 of 11

Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival

Zihua Guitar Fest

 Courtesy Zihua Guitar Fest 

The hippie beach town of Zihuatanejo on the Pacific Coast (neighbor to the resort area of Ixtapa) hosts the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival designed to bring locals and tourists together to enjoy guitar music every year in the month of March. 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.

04 of 11

Festival de Mexico

Miguel Poveda performs in the Festival Centro Historico

Pedro Martin Gonzalez Castillo / Getty Images

The Festival de Mexico is a two-week-long cultural celebration held right in the Historical Center of Mexico City. It's 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 (Mexico's gastronomy is also proudly on display). 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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05 of 11

Holy Week (Semana Santa)

Easter celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico
Suzanne Barbezat

The exact dates of Semana Santa, or Holy Week, vary from year to year, but it always takes place during the week leading up to Easter and often falls in March. To get a taste of traditional festivities, you can find religious processions happening through the streets along with passion plays re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus. While these observances happen in most cities across Mexico, some of the most elaborate ones can be found in Taxco, Pátzcuaro, Oaxaca, and San Cristobal de las Casas.

This is also spring break for most Mexican students, and many local families choose to spend the holidays at the beach as well. It's a really exciting time to be in Mexico, but make all your bookings as early as possible since reservations will fill up fast.

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Todos Santos Film Festival

Todos Santos theatre and cinema. Todos Santos Pueblo Magico, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Romana Lilic/Getty Images 

In the sleepy beach town of Todos Santos, about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, another film festival happens in the month of March. It isn't nearly as glamorous as the event in Guadalajara, but the Todos Santos Film Festival is much more intimate and features up-and-coming indie filmmakers from across Mexico, Latin America, and abroad. The festival also supports a school where kids and adolescents learn about film production from start to finish and their projects are even premiered at the

07 of 11

Spring Equinox

Chichen Itza Equinox
Photo by Lorenia, Creative Commons

You may think of beach parties and night clubs when you think of springtime festivities, but Indigenous Mexican communities have been celebrating spring for much, much longer. The spring equinox, which takes place March 20–21 each year, has been celebrated as a period of rebirth, fertility, and harvest long before Spaniards arrived in the country.

Since the festivities are tied to Mexico's pre-Columbian history, the biggest events take place at surviving Mesoamerican temples. One of the biggest events can be found at the Temple of Kulkulkan at Chichén Itzá, where light and shadows are used to form a serpent descending the pyramid.

Not far from Mexico City, about 1 million people gather around the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Revelers traditionally dress in all white, sometimes with a red scarf or bandana, and climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun to welcome the changing of the season.

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Cumbre Tajín Festival

Danza de los Voladores de Papantla

The culture of the Totonac people of Veracruz takes the spotlight at the Cumbre Tajín Festival, taking place during the week of the spring equinox. El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site about four hours from Mexico City, and the Totonac people are considered the guardians of the ruins.

The festival includes concerts, workshops, and the opportunity to sample the unique cuisine of Veracruz. There's also a spectacular night-time light show at the pyramids of El Tajín and—one of the highlights—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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09 of 11

Night of the Witches (Noche de Brujas)

A Mexican curandero with a conch shell

mofles / Getty Images

Shamans, curanderos (healers), and fortune-tellers are ubiquitous in the small town of Catemaco, Veracruz, throughout the year, but the first Friday of March marks the opening ceremony of their annual convention, overseen by the brujo mayor, or high sorcerer. 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, 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, plus it's a long weekend for workers and students.

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Vive Latino

Vive Latino Music Festival
 Humberto Romero | Getty Images

One of Mexico's biggest music festivals is held in the Foro Sol in Mexico City every year in March. The festival's concept is to offer a forum for newcomer bands from all over the Spanish speaking world and in a variety of genres. For three days space is created for alternative music and new proposals from Spanish language performers.