September is el Mes de la Patria (month of the homeland) in Mexico and sometimes it seems as though the whole country is painted in red, white and blue -- the colors of the Mexican flag. There are decorations adorning nearly every home and public building and stalls selling patriotic items on almost every street corner. Colorful and patriotic festivities celebrating the events that led up to Mexico's Independence from Spain are held throughout the country, culminating on September 15 and 16. But besides celebrating Mexico's independence, there are more festivals and events taking place this month.
Reto al Tepozteco
The town of Tepoztlan, in the state of Morelos not far from Mexico City, celebrates the fusion of indigenous and Spanish colonial culture with this yearly celebration. Reto al Tepozteco is a performance depicting King Tepoztecatl's conversion to the Catholic religion. Processions lead toward the mountain-top Tepozteco Pyramid, where people offer food and beverages. The crowd returns to the village for more celebrations including hypnotic traditional chinelo folk dances, fireworks, and a food festival. The event is held every year on September 7 and 8.
Guadalajara's most important cultural event of the year, the Mariachi Festival, captures the essence of the city and both its traditional and innovative mariachi culture. Musicians come from around the world to listen, audition, and compete. Performances take place on the streets and in various venues throughout the city during the last couple of weeks of August and the first days of September.
The UNESCO-recognized colonial city of Zacatecas celebrates its national fair for three weeks every September. The Feria Nacional Zacatecas festival includes musical performances by big-name performers, mechanical rides and other entertainment for children, livestock exhibits, theater performances, and other cultural and sporting events. Of course, there is a plentiful assortment of regional cuisine to sample.
Crowds gather in town squares across Mexico on September 15 at 11 p.m. for the Grito de la Independencia, which commemorates Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's call for independence of September 1810, encouraging the Mexican people to rise up against the Spanish colonial forces. The mayor shouts a replica of Hidalgo's cry, and the crowd cheers "¡Viva México!" Fireworks and general merriment ensue. On the following day, September 16, there are civic ceremonies and parades.
The border town and capital of Baja California state, Mexicali, celebrates its founding every year with the Fiesta del Sol. Concerts, parades, and mechanical rides are all part of the festivities. The concert line-up always includes big names in the Mexican music industry: in past years there have been performances by Molotov, Banda el Recodo, Yuri, and Belinda.
This is an annual festival in honor of the San Miguel de Allende's patron, Saint Michael Archangel. The official feast day on the church calendar is September 29, but the fiesta is held on the nearest weekend. The festivities are sometimes referred to as La Alborada, or just the Fiesta de San Miguel. The event involves parades, dances, concerts, and fireworks. Previously an important part of this festival was a running with the bulls similar to the yearly event in Pamplona, Spain, but this was discontinued in 2007.
This annual festival in Rosarito Beach, Baja California includes student musical workshops as well as shows and competitions. All events are held at the iconic Rosarito Beach Hotel and proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito. The festival ends with the Extravaganza Concert on October 6, 2018, which features performances by prominent mariachi groups such as Mariachi Nueva Tecalitlan, Mariachi Divas and more.
Tijuana celebrates its annual fair starting the last week of August and running through until mid-September. This is the most popular family event in the city and presents an impressive artistic billboard year after year in both the Palenque and the Teatro del Pueblo. There are also mechanical games, an exhibitors area, a children's area with shows, rides and games, and a gastronomic area where you can sample local fairground foods and more.
This festival held yearly in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, aims to boost local talent, as well as present artistic and cultural expressions from other countries. Both young and mature, the Santa Lucia festival has been gathering international artists and national spectators in the streets of Monterrey for the past 9 years, marking each autumn with the joy that only the arts know how to give.
Oaxaca's gastronomy is showcased in this food festival that takes place over three days at the end of September in the Oaxaca Convention Center, and at restaurants throughout the city. Some 70 Oaxacan chefs along with 20 local artists create a memorable experience for all attendees. There will be a chance to sample Oaxaca's traditional foods, as well as first class gourmet products such as artisan cheeses, hams, bread, preserves, craft beers, distillates and mezcal.