Cozumel Events and Public Holidays


Mexican National Holidays and local Cozumel events calendar.

Mexicans remember national heritage and the meaning of the red, white and green bandera every year, on February 24th.

The celebration marks the victory of Mexicans in the War of Independence against the Spanish, a struggle that lasted 11 years.

 

Dia de la Bandera
The Mexican flag.

The island's spectacular annual Mardis Gras has over 140 years of history and is held around February every year, although the exact dates vary.

In 2018, Fat Tuesday will be on February 13, and the UNCONFIRMED dates for the main week of events are Wednesday, February 7 to Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

So, the biggest celebrations and parades are expected on the nights of Saturday, February 10; Sunday, February 11 and Fat Tuesday, February 13, 2018.


This important date - when the length of day is exactly equal to night - is of historical religious importance to the Mayans and other historic American cultures.

It is famously celebrated at Chichen Itza Mayan ruins on the mainland, where the alignment of the sun causes a shadow in the form of a serpent to appear on the steps of the main pyramid.

The dates are usually confirmed around March each year, as soon as we have them for 2018 we will post them here.

Officially called the Festival of El Cedral and the Fiestas of Santa Cruz, this annual event is held in the small town of El Cedral, in the south of Cozumel. It is said to have been started over 160 years ago by Casimiro Cárdenas.

 

Mexicans remember the Battle of Puebla every year on May 5th.

The 5 de Mayo marks the defeat of the French army in the Mexican city of Puebla in 1862.

Celebrated widely by Mexicans in the United States, the day is not an obligatory federal holiday in Mexico, but voluntary.

The 'Sacred Mayan Crossings' take place in May or June each year and in 2017 they were held May 26-28.

Hundreds of oarsman in wooden canoes, paddle from the mainland to Cozumel and back.

The 3 day event recreates ancient ritual pilgrimages undertaken by the original inhabitants of Yucatán to Polé (Xcaret) and then on by canoe to Cuzamil (Cozumel).

The celebration begins with a pilgrimage to Xcaret. All night long, guests participate in rituals and supplications to the goddess Ix Chel, as they wait for the first rays of dawn, when they send the canoes off to Cozumel.


Mexican Independence Day remembers the Grito de Dolores or Independencia, a call for Mexicans to rebel against the Spanish, made by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810.

Hidalgo was parish priest in the town of Dolores, from where the Grito - or Cry - takes its name. It is sometimes misinterpreted as 'The Cry of Pain', a literal translation from Spanish.


Called the Día de la Raza, or 'Day of Race', in Mexico, the holiday is commemorated by millions across Latin America and Spain.

Cristóbal Colón, better known in English as Christopher Columbus, landed on the island of Guanahani on October 12, 1492 - the date that is now remembered.

Cozumel islanders celebrate El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, along with the rest of Mexico.

The event remembers and celebrates the lives of ancestors and other deceased members of the family.
 
Cozumel Day of the Dead
Skull art at Discover Mexico


On November 20, 1910, Francisco I. Madero called Mexicans to arms against the dictatorship of General Porfirio Díaz Mori, who had been in power for 40 years.

The ensuing battles and struggles for power lasted some 20 years. A revolutionary period when alliances and leaders kept changing, and attempts at stable government failed.

World-famous athletic competition, Ironman, will take place for the ninth year running in Cozumel on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

The Cozumel Ironman 2017 will be an endurance test of swimming, cycling and running, and forms part of the Ironman World Series.

Thousands of people join processions in Cozumel for this event, as they celebrate one of Mexico's largest religious events.

The pilgrims honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, an icon of the Catholic Virgin Mary who is said to have appeared near Mexico City over 470 years ago.

 

Visitors arriving to Cozumel in the run up for Christmas have the chance to learn about two local seasonal traditions.

In true Christmas spirit, islanders celebrate with 9 nights of songs, called Las Posadas, while children recite their own carols and carry decorated branches, in a similar custom known as cantando la rama.

Las Posadas, or "the lodgings", is the name given to the 9 nights from December 16 to 24, when the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem is marked.