January is one of the most popular months to visit Mexico. This is high season as folks from colder climes seek the warm weather and sunshine they can find south of the border, but travelers seeking warmth should keep in mind that Mexico's weather is not uniformly hot, and this is also one of the coldest months of the year in Mexico. There are plenty of cultural events that take place in the month of January.
Read on for information about the most outstanding celebrations being held in Mexico this month:
New Year's Day
This is a national holiday and all-around quiet day. Most stores and businesses are closed as folks recuperate from the revelry of New Year's Eve. Museums, archaeological sites, and most tourist attractions are open on their regular schedule.
Día de Reyes - Kings Day
Epiphany in the church calendar, this day commemorates when the three kings or Magi visited Jesus. Traditionally this is the day when Mexican children receive gifts (which are brought by the three kings as opposed to Santa). It is customary to eat Rosca de reyes, a sweet bread that represents King Herod's crown with figurines of baby Jesus hidden inside, on this day.
Read more: Kings Day in Mexico
Merida International Arts Festival
Merida, Yucatan, January 4 to 21
Merida is a city with a bustling cultural scene year-round, but never more so than during the annual arts festival when the city is bursting at the seams with cultural events, concerts and art exhibits.
Website: Merida Fest
Fiesta Grande / Fiesta de los Parachicos January Festival - Fiesta de Enero
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, January 8 to 24
Also known as the January Festival or "Fiesta de Enero," this is a popular and religious festival with processions and dancing in the streets by people wearing masks and colorful outfits.
Combined with the popular events is the celebration of three religious feast days, the Black Christ of Esquipulas on January 8, San Antonio Abad on January 17 and San Sebastian on January 20. The Dance of the Parachicos which forms an important part of this festival has been declared part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Facebook Page: Fiesta Grande
Feria Estatal de Leon - Leon State Fair
Leon, Guanajuato, January 12 to February 6
Concerts and shows, exhibits and mechanical rides are all part of the fun as Leon celebrates its anniversary.
Website: Feria Estatal de Leon
Fiesta de San Antonio de Abad - Feast Day of Saint Anthony
On the feast day of Saint Anthony Abbot, also known as Saint Anthony of the Desert, patron of the animal kingdom, animals are decorated with flowers and ribbons and brought to churches to be blessed.
Fiesta de Santa Prisca - Feast Day of Santa Prisca
Taxco, Guerrero, January 17 and 18
The town of Taxco comes alive with dancing, fireworks, and celebrations during this annual fair commemorating the town's patron saint, Santa Prisca.
Alamos Cultural Festival - Festival Cultural Dr. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado
Alamos, Sonora, January 19 to 27
This annual festival is given in honor of Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, a doctor, singer and philanthropist from Alamos.
The festival's program has an emphasis on operatic singing and chamber music, but popular music and other art forms are also featured. The festival has grown yearly and is now one of northern Mexico's most important cultural events, drawing over 100,000 people from many different countries.
Website: Alamos Cultural Festival
Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic
Punta Mita, Nayarit, January 28 to 31
This four-day event marries the sophisticated worlds of culinary excellence and championship golf. The event will feature gourmet meals and cooking courses taught by distinguished chefs, a series of wine and tequila tastings, festive gatherings at the luxurious St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, sailing adventures during sunset and “The Punta Mita Cup,” a two-day golf tournament on Jack Nicklaus’ two signature courses Punta Mita Bahia and Pacifico.
Website: Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic
Migratory Birds Festival
San Blas, Nayarit, January 29 to February 5
Festival events include conferences, seminars, and bird-watching tours, offered every morning to places like Isabel Island and La Tovara National Park. Birds you're likely to see include boat-billed herons, northern jacanas, purple gallinules, mottled owls and white ibises. There will also be festivities in the central plaza including traditional dance performances by Tepic's dance company, singing and special events.
Website: Migratory Birds Festival
Grey Whale Festival
Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, January 31 to February 2
Between January and March gray whales make their annual trek to Baja California where they mate and breed. During the whale festival you can not only go on a whale-watching expedition, but also enjoy the festival atmosphere while you learn about the gray whale.
Facebook page: Festival de la Ballena Gris
Sayulita, Nayarit, January 31 to February 4
A festival for lovers of Mexico, film, music, food, tequila and surf, the Festival Sayulita is a film festival held in the bohemian surf town Sayulita on Riviera Nayarit. Additional events will include tequila and food pairings, master tastings, beach-front and private screenings, lecture series, and live music.
Website: Festival Sayulita
Todos Santos Music Festival
Todos Santos, Baja California Sur (cancelled in 2017)
Founder Peter Buck of R.E.M. fame joined together with the legendary Hotel California to host concerts and raise money for local charities. Concerts are held in the Town Plaza and also at the Hotel California. This year's lineup includes Jeff Tweedy, Torreblanca, The Autumn Defense and The Jayhawks.
Facebook Page: Todos Santos Music Festival
See more events throughout the year on our Mexico calendar.