1 January: New Year's Day. Public holiday with religious observances, parties and fireworks.
6 January: Dia de los Reyes Magos. Also known as Epiphany, a public and religious holiday. Children place their shoes where the Three Kings can find them and then fill them with treats. A special ring-shaped bread, rosca, is served with a small plastic figure of Baby Jesus baked into it. Whoever gets the figure is obliged to host a party for all present on Candlemas Day, 2 February.
Year Round: Dance. The internationally acclaimed troupe Ballet Folklorico performs Sunday morning at 9:30 and Sunday and Wednesday evenings at 8:30. Palacio de Bellas Artes, Avenida Juarez and Lazaro Cardenas. For information, call 5529- 9320
January-late April: Soccer. Five teams call Mexico City their home: Cruz Azul, U.N.A.M., Necaxa, Atlante and America. For information about the season and tickets, call the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol at 5241-0100. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 5325-9000.
January-June: The Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra performs weekly in Sala Silvestre Revueltas, Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli, Periferico Sur 5141. Phone 5606-0016 or 5606-8558.
January - July: Concert. The National Symphony Orchestra performs frequently at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Avenida Juarez and Lazaro Cardenas. Phone 5529-9320.
2 February: Candlemas Day. Special masses, processions, bullfights and fiestas mark the day that Mary took Jesus to the temple. Takes place 40 days after Christmas.
5 February: Constitution Day. Public holiday commemorating the constitutions of 1857 and 1917, which still govern Mexico.
March - July: Opera. Opera Nacional de Mexico performs regularly at Palacio de Bellas Artes, Avenida Juarez and Lazaro Cardenas. For information, call 5572-2593 or 5529-9320.
Mid March: Xochimilco Festival. Four-day event held annually two weeks before Easter. This festival dates to pre-colonial times, when Mexicans honored the goddess of flowers (Xochipilli) and the goddess of dance (Maculxochitl) to ensure good harvests. A girl is crowned "La Flor Mas Bella del Ejido" (the most beautiful flower of Ejido) and presides over the lead barge of a parade floating up and down the canals. There are also competitions in canoeing, horticulture and carnival cars. Xochimilco, known for its canals and floating gardens, is 12 miles south of Mexico City. For information, call 5676-0810 or 5676-8879.
21 March: Birthday of Benito Juarez. Public holiday honoring the leader of the Mexican Revolution.
March or April: Semana Santa (Holy Week). Most businesses are closed from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, but some companies and stores close the entire week before Easter. On Good Friday, a pageant depicting the crucifixion of Christ is presented on Cerro de la Estrella (Hill of the Star), in a section of the city called Ixtapalapa.
Mid-Late March: Festival del Centro Historico. This annual two-week event is one of Latin America's premier festivals of art and music. Features Mexican, Latin American and international musicians in more than 100 events ranging from opera, ballet and theatrical performances, chamber- and symphonic-music recitals to jazz, folk, pop and rock concerts, modern dance, art exhibits, installations and gourmet dinners. call 5277-9757 or 5277-9817.
Mid-Late March: Tecnogeist. More than 150,000 visitors attend this electronic-music festival. Showcases techno artists, DJs and fans from all over the world. Various outdoor venues.
Early-Mid May: Festival Vive Latino. Approximately 50,000 spectators listen to concerts on three stages by 30 established and emerging Latin American bands in a diverse range of styles, including rock, pop, jazz, reggae, metal, hip-hop, ska, funk and electronic. Foro Sol, Avenida Rio Churubusco. Phone 5237-9950.
May – September: Professional Baseball. The Diablos Rojos and Tigres de Mexico play home games at Foro Sol at Viaducto Piedad and Rio Churubsco. Tickets are available at the stadium before the game or through Ticketmaster, phone 5325-9000. Information: Diablos Rojos, phone 5639-8722,
1 May: Labor Day. Public holiday. In the morning, a huge workers parade starts off from the Zocalo. The evening is reserved for more observances that include dancing and fireworks. Almost all shops, restaurants and businesses are closed.
3 May: Dia de la Santa Cruz. Construction workers place decorated crosses against unfinished structures. Picnics and fireworks follow.
5 May: Cinco de Mayo. This national holiday celebrates the defeat of the French army at Puebla in 1862, with dances, parties, fireworks and food. Festivities are especially colorful in Puebla, 81 mi/130 km (around two hours by bus) southeast of Mexico City.
2nd Sunday in May: Dia de la Madre. Mother's Day is an important holiday, with many businesses closed for all or part of the day. Travelers should be aware that roads and restaurants will be crowded because Mexican families traditionally take mom out for a meal.
24 June: St. John the Baptist Day. Fairs and religious festivities. Revelers dunk each other as a practical joke.
29 June: St. Peter and St. Paul Day. Local fiestas, particularly in San Pedro Atocpan (on the southern edge of Mexico City), pay homage to the two saints.
16 July: Feast of Our Lady of Carmen. A fair and flower show is held in the San Angel section of Mexico City.
29 July: Dia de Santa Maria. This feast day is celebrated in the southeastern suburb of Milpa Alta with Aztec dances and staged battles between the Moors and Christians.
2 August: Cuauhtemoc Day. The last Aztec emperor is honored with dances and ceremonies at Cuauhtemoc Circle on Paseo de la Reforma.
15 August: Feast of the Assumption. Religious holiday. Services are held nationwide. Ancient dances are performed in the southeastern suburb of Milpa Alta.
1 September: President's State of the Nation Address. Public holiday. Government offices and banks are closed.
15 September: Prelude to Independence Day. Around 11 pm, the Zocalo fills with throngs of people waiting to hear the Mexican president re-enact Father Hidalgo's 1810 grito: the call for independence from Spain. The crowd responds "Viva Mexico!" and the fireworks, mariachi music and all-night partying begin. Throwing flour and eggs at people is a tradition. Most businesses are closed.
16 September: Independence Day. Public holiday. A three-hour military parade begins at the Zocalo and ends at the angel monument on Paseo de la Reforma. Most businesses are closed.
12 October: Dia de la Raza. Public holiday that marks the mixing of Mexico's indigenous and European races.
November - April: Bullfights. Thousands of fans cheer for their favorite toreros as the bullfighters take on aggravated bulls. Monumental Plaza de Toros Mexico, Augusto Rodin 241. For information, call 5611-4413.
1 November: Dia de Todos los Santos. All Saints' Day, a public and religious holiday. Most offices and businesses are closed. Families honor their departed loved ones with elaborate altars in their homes.
2 November: Dia de los Muertos. All Souls' Day, or Day of the Dead, a public and religious holiday. Most offices and businesses are closed. Candies and toys left on the altars for angelitos (small children who have died) are consumed by living children. Skeleton-shaped sweets and breads, wire and clay skeletons and masses of flowers fill the markets. At night, candlelight processions make their way to cemeteries, where candlelit picnics and music pay tribute to the deceased. A particularly well-known celebration takes place in Mixquic, outside Mexico City.
20 November: Revolution Day. Public holiday. Parades, including one that traditionally begins at 10 am at the Zocalo, commemorate the beginning of the Revolution of 1910-1920.
12 December: Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Public holiday. Millions make the pilgrimage to the huge Basilica of Guadalupe, shrine of Mexico's patron saint. Within the basilica, musicians and dancers perform as the pious approach, many on their knees. La Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, Tepeyec Hill, northern edge of Mexico City.
25 December: Dia de Navidad. Public holiday. Families usually celebrate Christmas at home.
Mexico City is alive with cultural events and entertainment options. The main venue is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, in the Centro Historico near Alameda Central. The national opera company and the national symphony perform there. Performances of the Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Mexico, a beautiful and captivating presentation of regional dances and costumes of Mexico, are also held there.
Free concerts are a mainstay of cultural life in Mexico City, and everything from big-name rock stars to classical quartets can often be found performing in public parks, churches, the Zocalo and shopping centers. The Teatro de la Ciudad is a breathtaking four-tiered venue with an elegant carved interior, excellent sound and an interesting and varied schedule.
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
A spectacular show built around the folk dances and traditional costumes of Mexico. The internationally acclaimed troupe performs Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening. Performances are in Teatro Bellas Artes in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, at the corner of Juarez and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico City. Phone 5521-9251 for information
Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra
Sala Olin Yolitzi, Periferico Sur 5141 (near San Angel), Mexico City.
Performances are on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Palacio de Bellas Artes,
on the corner of Juarez and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico City.
Occasional performances throughout the year.
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Ave. Hidalgo 1, Mexico City.
Excellent resident singers, as well as guest soloists.
Independencia 90, Centro Historico, Mexico City.
An enormous art-deco theater downtown that hosts music, dance and film including the experimental
Few golf clubs in Mexico City are open to visitors, and the ones that are usually require that you attend with a member. Madeiras Country Club and Club de Golf Copal both sell day passes, but you'll have to travel quite a bit to get to either one.
Soccer is the favorite spectator sport in Mexico, and fans are fiercely loyal. Games are played in the Estadio Azteca (Tasquena metro station), Estadio Olimpico (Ciudad Universitario metro) and Estadio Azul (San Antonio metro station), which are home turf for the city's three main clubs.
Foro Sol (Ciudad Deportiva metro station) and Parque del Seguro Social (in Colonia Narvarte).
Games are mostly at night, but sometimes during the day on weekends: Check Tiempo Libre and sports sections of local newspapers for dates and times.
Plaza de Toros (next to Estadio Azul, near the San Antonio metro station)
Bullfights are held on Sundays.
Charreadas (Mexican rodeos) are held at Rancho del Charro (in the third section of Chapultepec Park) on Sundays.
For spectators who like to bet, there are horse races at the Hipodromo de las Americas.