Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – Whether you're a visitor or a full- or part-time resident, engaging in Mexico's holidays and traditions is a great way to get to know the culture and heritage of the Mexican people.
From September through December, the following cultural celebrations and national holidays will fill the streets of Puerto Vallarta with exciting sights, tastes, sounds, and experiences for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike.
Las Fiestas Patrias - September 13-16
On the 13th of September, Mexico remembers the fallen young soldiers who died in the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847 in Mexico's war with the United States. El Dia de los Niños Heroes celebrates the slain cadets that fought so bravely for their country.
The 14th of September is known as El Dia del Charro, or Day of the Cowboy. The celebration traditionally begins with local charros, wearing large sombreros and brightly embellished jackets, riding on the horseback through the streets of downtown. The festivities continue into the evening with rich food, music, dancing, and traditional charro style calf roping on the Malecón.
The 15th of September is Noche del Grito, or Night of the Yell. At 11 pm all over Mexico, people gather in the main plazas of their towns and the mayor, together with the President of Mexico from the National Palace in Mexico City, gives "El Grito" (literally the yell or shout) of independence, commemorating El Grito de Dolores where Father Dolores Hidalgo launched the War for Independence on the night of September 15, 1810.
The 16th of September is the National Holiday, and it's a patriotic celebration marked by civic ceremonies, parades, concerts and lively parties in the downtown area.
Día De Los Muertos – Oct. 31-Nov. 2
At first glance, the Mexican custom of El Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead,) may sound much like the US custom of Halloween. After all, the celebration traditionally starts at midnight on the night of Oct. 31st, and the festivities are abundant in images related to death. But the customs have different origins. In typical Halloween festivities, death is something to be feared. But on El Día de Los Muertos, death — or at least the memories of those who have died — is something to be celebrated. Every year on November 1st (All Saint's Day) and 2nd (All Soul's Day), Pre-Hispanic religion, life, death, art, sorrow and humor come together to commemorate and honor family members and friends who have passed on. Celebrants attend family reunions, decorate their loved ones' graves, and create elaborate altars, or ofrendas. In Puerto Vallarta, the 5 de diciembre cemetery is the site of traditional Day of the Dead observances, but the city's other cemeteries, located in Ramblases, El Progreso, Ixtapa and Las Palmas, will receive thousands of residents and visitor alike during this three-day observance.
El Día de la Revolucion - November 20
On November 20 Mexico commemorates El Día de la Revolucion, or Revolution Day, the start of the Mexican Revolution ignited by Francisco Madero. More commonly known as el veinte de noviembre, Revolution Day in Puerto Vallarta is a time of celebration with music, (especially Mariachi, which became the symbol of the Revolution because it represented the national spirit of the indigenous Mexican blood,) parades, cultural activities, patriotic speeches and official ceremonies.
Christmas and Las Posadas - December 1-28