May Festivals and Events in Mexico

What's on in May

Mexican Folk Dancers
••• Larry Dale Gordon / Getty Images

May is one of the busier months of the year in Mexico, with a plethora of festivals and events across the country. It seems like students barely set foot in school this month - what with Labor Day on the first, then Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and Teacher's Day following in quick succession. There's no shortage of cultural festivals, either, so you won't run out of things to do this month! May in Mexico is warm, and rainy season in central and southern Mexico often starts this month.

Here's a look at the major holidays and festivals in Mexico in May:

Dia del Trabajo - Labor Day
Nationwide, May 1st
This is a national public holiday in Mexico. There are political and labor union marches and official speeches. Schools, banks and government offices are closed (though this year it falls on a Sunday, so it won't have as much of an effect). 

Dia de la Santa Cruz - Day of the Holy Cross
Nationwide, May 3rd
This celebration dates back to colonial times. Construction workers decorate crosses with flowers and mount them on buildings under construction, and have picnics at the site, followed by fireworks.

Cinco de mayo, Batalla de Puebla - Commemoration of the Battle of Puebla
Throughout the country, but particularly in Puebla, May 5th
A public holiday commemorating the battle in Puebla of 1862 in which the Mexican army defeated the French. Celebrations in Puebla recreate the battle.
Read more about Cinco de Mayo in MexicoSurprising Facts About Cinco de Mayo

Festival Internacional 5 de Mayo Puebla
Puebla, Puebla, May 5 to 24
This festival's goal is to promote Puebla's artistic, architectural and socio-cultural heritage, and commemorates the Battle of Puebla of May 5, 1862. This is a multidisciplinary festival that offers a variety of activities such as concerts, gastronomy, theater, conferences and more, with both national and international guest performers.

Website: Puebla Travel Guide

Rosarito - Ensenada Fun Ride
Rosarito to Ensenada, Baja California, May 7
Over 7,500 cyclists participate in this scenic 50-mile ride along the Free Road that starts in downtown Rosarito Beach and finishes in Ensenada with a fiesta from noon to sunset at Plaza Ventana al Mar on the waterfront.
Website: Rosarito Ensenada Fun Ride

Festival Cultural de Mayo - May Cultural Festival
In Jalisco state, May 7 to 29
This festival includes cultural events such as concerts, exhibits, film screenings, dance performances and gastronomic tastings. Many of the events will be free admission. Events will take place at many locations in the state of Jalisco, including many in Guadalajara's Teatro Degollado.
Website: Festival Cultural de Mayo |  Guadalajara City Guide

Dia de la Madre - Mother's Day
Nationwide, May 10
Mother's Day is always celebrated on May 10th in Mexico, regardless of the day of the week (unlike in the U.S. where it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May). Mothers are held in very high esteem in Mexican culture and on this day they are celebrated in style. The day may start off with serenades of Las Mañanitas, schools have festivals in honor of the mothers of students and restaurants are packed as moms take the day off from household tasks and are treated to a meal out with their families.

Día del Maestro - Teacher's Day
Nationwide, May 15
Usually classes are suspended on this day - so teachers get the day off, or there will be a small party and students give their teachers gifts as a sign of their appreciation.

Restaurant Week in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, May 15 to 31
Puerto Vallarta's best restaurants offer spectacular three-course menus (with three options each) discounted by up to 50%. So enjoy your favorite restaurants at the fixed prices (no beverages or tips included).
Read more about Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Week | Puerto Vallarta City Guide

Pride Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, May 16 to 29
Puerto Vallarta's annual LGBT event celebrates LGBT culture and Puerto Vallarta’s welcoming community with music festivals, beach parties, fashion shows, mass commitment ceremony and activities in participating bars and clubs.

More info: Pride Vallarta

Travesia Sagrada Maya - Sacred Mayan Journey
Xcaret, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, May 20 and 21
Recreating the pilgrimage of the ancient Maya to worship the Goddess lxChel, canoeists in pre-hispanic-style vessels race from Xcaret Park to Cozumel, a journey of approximately 17 miles.
Read about the Sacred Mayan Journey. More about Xcaret and the ancient Maya.

Morelia en Boca Gastronomy Festival
Morelia, Michoacan, May 20, 21 and 22
This food and wine festival will focus on three aspects of gastronomy: the traditional cuisine of the state of Michoacan, Mexican wine, and avant-garde cuisine (with dinners and cooking demonstrations from renowned Mexican and international chefs). Events will be held in the Centro Cultural Clavijero, a beautiful 17th century building in the heart of Morelia's historical center.
Website: Morelia en Boca | Morelia City Guide

Feria de Corpus Christi
Papantla, Veracruz, May 21 to 29
The Catholic feast day of Corpus Christi is celebrated in a special way in Papantla, Veracruz. Prehispanic ceremonies take place that are said to promote fertility and communication with the heavens.
Facebook page: Feria de Corpus Christi en Papantla

Rosarito Art Fest
Rosarito, Baja California, May 28 and 29
Over 100 artists, both local and of international renown, will be featured in this art festival which will take place over Memorial Day weekend on Rosarito's Benito Juarez Blvd. There will also be musical and gastronomical presentations, making this a festival where all senses are celebrated.
Website: Rosarito Art Fest

Festival de la Paella - Paella Festival
Ezequiel Montes, Querétaro, May 29 to 31
Paella is a popular rice-based dish from Spain that has a number of delicious and interesting variations. The Cavas Freixenet holds an annual paella festival where you can sample different versions of this popular dish. A glass of wine is included in the entrance fee.
Website: Festival de la Paella

Cabo Comedy Festival
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Dates TBA
This festival features performances by some of the entertainment industry's top stand-up comedians as well as a competition for best new comic. The festival also includes panel discussions on the business of comedy with writers, producers and cast members from some of television's top comedies, celebrity golf and poker tournaments, and after-parties at some of Cabo's popular nightclubs. The festival culminates with an awards presentation and celebrity roast.

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