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By: Hannah Hassler, Kenzie Carlson, & Brandon Jordan

The 4 Most Important Mexican Holidays & Reasoning

1. Diez y Seis (Mexico's Independence Day)

The United States had won its independence decades before Mexico, causing many Mexicans to feel they could too. In 1808, Mexico and South America had set up their own governments to claim loyalty of the imprisoned Spanish King. On September 16, 1810, Mexico had won and claimed loyalty.


2.Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Takes place 1-2 November. The people believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children and are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. Dia de los Muertos began in pre- Hispanic Mexico as a festival to honor ancestors and family members who had died. Today, the holiday has also taken on a playful tone as whimsical images of skeletons abound and people gather to celebrate life even as they honor the dead.


3.Mardi Gras (Carnaval)

A Christian holiday and popular cultural phenomenon, dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival, it is celebrated in many countries around the world–mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations–on the day before the religious season of Lent begins. It is a week of parties and parades that precedes Lent. A time of indulgence before the solemn religious holiday that follows.


4. Navidad (Christmas)

The posadas held during the Christmas season are another favorite time of celebration. During these nightly parties, families reenact the night when Mary and Joseph searched for lodging. The tradition holds that guests are initially turned away until a pregnant Mary—a woman dressed as the Virgin or a statue of her is recognized in the crowd. All are then invited into the home to pray and celebrate with song, dance, and food, as well as piñatas for the children. Children, portraying the Holy Family arriving in Bethlehem, go from door to door in the neighborhood seeking shelter. Traditionally, Mexican children received their presents on Dia de los Santos Reyes, Three Kings Day, on Jan. 6, but the Christmas traditions popularized in Northern Europe and the U.S. are beginning to take hold in Mexico, giving kids two days during the season to receive Christmas gifts.

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Activities on Holiday Celebrations

Mexico’s Independence day: During this holiday, Mexico celebrates independence Day every year on September 16 with parades, festivals, feasts, and parties along with mexican flags placed everywhere and with people packed in the main plaza in Mexico City.


Day of the dead: They dance, celebrate by having street parties, decorate, have parades and community festivals. Other things they do on this holiday is tell stories about the deceased, decorate graves. They hold all-night graveside vigils. families will build altars in their homes during the weeks leading up to November 1st, as a way to celebrate and remember loved ones who have passed to the other side.


Carnaval: The most popular place to celebrate is in the tropical port city of Veracruz, where thousands of dancers, musicians, and other performance artists gather to parade along the city's seaside boardwalk in elaborate masquerade. At the end of a weekend filled with parties, a king and queen of Carnaval are crowned.


Christmas: All are invited into the home to pray and celebrate with song, dance, and food, as well as piñatas for the children.

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Special Occasions

Shrove Tuesday and Easter Week: This is when most businesses and schools take this week (and Christmas week) as annual holidays. The time is spent visiting relatives, church services, and pilgrimages to shrines.

Birthdays

Celebration of Birthdays;

For kids birthday celebrations, there are almost always pinata's. The birthday child is then blindfolded and hits the pinata until it is cracked open and all the goodies fall out. All the children then get to share the goodies. The other celebration for birthdays is for saint's day. On this day you go to church and a priest blesses you. Then you go home to have a party that includes relatives and close family friends. The saint's day party is much quieter and more formal than others. For birthdays in Mexico, the cake is a central part of traditions. The chanting of the song “La Mordida,” meaning the Bribe, is typically done as the individual for whom the party is for takes the first bite of the cake with their hands tied behind their back. most importantly the birthday cake. A great meal is created to honor the person’s birthday. Common foods for a birthday party are tortillas with salsa, churros, caramel flan, and taquitos.


Most important birthday;

The most important birthday to have is the quinceañera. Its a ceremony on a girl’s fifteenth birthday to mark her passage to womanhood, give thanks to God for his blessings, and to present a young woman to the community. In Mexican communities it serves not only to honor the young woman for her maturity, but also the girl’s parents and family, as well as her padrinos or godparents. It is celebrated with a large amount of people in her honor. This celebration often includes a religious ceremony at church, in which the young lady recognizes her legacy and her spiritual journey. A party is then celebrated to introduce her to everyone as a young woman, and the father will dance a waltz with her. In some Latin American countries, a young woman changes her shoes from flats to heels during the ceremony to show that she has moved on to a higher level of responsibility.

How Teenagers Celebrate at Holidays & Festivals

Holiday Celebration Traditions:

Piñata: A decorated container filled with candy and toys that is usually hung on a tree and is hit by blindfolded kids with sticks. Piñata's are used as part of Christmas and birthday celebrations in certain Latin-American countries.


Festivals:

It is said that every festival, small or large, brings out regional and local specialties, alcoholic and fruit beverages, bright costumes and communal dancing. Small rich sweets, some specially wrapped in papers, candied fruits and hot spiced snacks are provided for the people celebrating.