October Festivals and Events in Mexico

October is an excellent month to visit Mexico. The Festival Internacional Cervantino is one of the biggest cultural festivals of the year, and Day of the Dead kicks off at the end of the month. Weather-wise it's a great time to visit: it's the end of the rainy season, and temperatures are milder than other times of the year. Here's a run-down of some of the most important festivals and events that take place in Mexico in October.

01 of 09

International Festival of Mayan Culture

Yucatan Mexico folk dancers
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This annual festival celebrates Mayan culture through a wide variety of artistic, academic, and cultural events including concerts, dance performances, exhibits, conferences, and workshops. The purpose of the festival is to entertain, as well as educate visitors, offering the opportunity to explore the grandeur of what was and remains of this great culture. Events take place in Mérida and in a few other locations in the state of Yucatan.

02 of 09

Festival Internacional Cervantino

One of Mexico's major annual cultural events, the Cervantino Festival, held in the colonial mining town of Guanajuato, draws performers and spectators from around the world and features opera, classical, and contemporary music concerts, dance, and theater performances, visual arts exhibits, and film screenings. Besides official events, the streets are full of buskers and street performers, and the whole city is bustling with activity throughout the almost three weeks the festival lasts.

03 of 09

Fiestas de Octubre

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The city of Guadalajara in Jalisco state celebrates a month-long event every October with concerts, dances, cultural exhibits, and food tastings, attracting visitors and performers from all over the world. An inaugural parade kicks things off at the beginning of the month, and performances by big names such as Jesse & Joy, Elefante, and Paquita La Del Barrio are on the program.

04 of 09

Wine and Food Festival

Wine and food in Mexico

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Taking place at the end of October and beginning of November in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, this food and wine festival brings together the talents of world-renowned chefs, top sommeliers, the best wine cellars of Europe and the Americas, and food and wine connoisseurs from around the world. Activities include conferences, wine and spirit tastings, cooking classes, and gala dinners.

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05 of 09

Oaxaca Film Fest

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The purpose of this festival is to provide a platform for the talents of seasoned filmmakers and emerging artists alike to premiere their work and introduce it to new audiences. The festival is also devoted to expanding the audience for independent film. It's a great opportunity for industry professionals and enthusiasts to network, learn new skills and enjoy some great films, as well as getting to know the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca.

06 of 09

Día de la Raza

It's observed as Columbus Day in the United States, but in Mexico, October 12, or Día de la Raza, is a date that is meant to commemorate the first recorded contact between the indigenous people of the Americas with the Europeans. The occasion is seen as an opportunity to foster awareness about the subsequent cultural shifts that took place which resulted in the mix of indigenous and European identities, customs, traditions, and beliefs, which formed present-day Mexico.

07 of 09

Expo Tequila

This is Mexico's largest tequila festival and offers Mexican cuisine and a family atmosphere, with over 300 brands of Mexico's best tequilas available at special prices. Collections of tequilas are raffled among attendees every day. The Expo Tequila takes place in Tijuana on 7th Avenue between Calle Revolución and 8th, in front of the Jai Alai Palace over four days in mid-October.

08 of 09

Morelia International Film Festival

The main square in Morelia, Michoacan

 Getty Images / Glow Images

Generally held the last week of October in Morelia, Michoacan, this film festival's goal is to promote the many and varied talents within the world of Mexican cinema and provide a forum for international exhibition. There are both theater and open-air screenings of films and the public is invited to attend conferences, roundtables, and exhibits where they can meet film industry personalities.

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09 of 09

Day of the Dead

A Day of the Dead Altar at the Basilica of the Virgin Guadalupe


Gabriel Perez/Getty Images

This special celebration honoring the deceased takes place on October 31st, November 1st, and 2nd. Departed loved ones are remembered and honored in cemeteries and family homes in this unique cultural celebration. Festivities take place throughout the country but are most colorful in certain Day of the Dead destinations.

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