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Yucatán: fiestas,gastronomy
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
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Celebrations and Traditions

pink flamingos in the reserve of Celestún
The city of Mérida is very dynamic : many cultural events are held during the week : folkloric ballets, classical and contemporary dances, music groups, theater plays, festivals, shows, etc...
The evenings with the serenades in St Lucie Park are very popular. Every Saturday, from 6PM to 1AM, the streets are closed to make room for the party. Also on Sunday, the historic center is closed to traffic between 9AM and 9PM to allow for recreational, cultural and gourmet activities : painting, music, dances, theater, books, local craft type hats, hammocks, typical shirts, embroidered dresses, confectionary, etc... The folkloric ballet of The Autonomous University of Yucatán gives a show every Friday evening at 9PM ( fee : MXN$50) except in August and September and the last two weeks in December.

The monthly magazine Yucatán Today is very useful.

Left picture : pink flamingos in the reserve of Celestún


5-31 January 2014 - Festival of the art in Mérida. Email : festival@merida.gob.mx

IZAMAL : Light and Sound Show "Light of the Mayas" held in the atrium on from Monday to Saturday included, every week at 8:30PM. $89 entrance fees for visitors and $64 for nationals.

CHICHÉN ITZÁ : Daily Light and Sound Show (7PM, November-March or 8PM, April-October – duration: 45 minutes);

UXMAL : Daily Light and Sound Show (7PM, November-March or 8PM, April-October – duration: 45 minutes);

26 February to 5 March 2014 - Carnival of Mérida :

19/20/21 March -every year - Festival of Spring Equinox in Chichén Itzá (Equinoccio de la Primavera). The shade of a serpent appears on the main pyramid of Kukulcán (visible 3 days from March 19 to 21).

20 aug -
Festival of Mani : dances, concerts, traditional cuisine – Mani, Yucatán.

22 sept -
Festival of Fall Equinox in Chichén Itzá. The shade of a serpent appears on the main pyramid of Kukulcán (visible 3 days from september 20 to 22).

23-25 nov (dates tba)- Festival de las Aves Toh (birds festival) of Yucatán in Mérida and Izamal (bird watching) :

folkloric ballets of Yucatán          


When the Spanish arrived in Yucatán, they discovered people who considered meals as big events. Then, the merge of Mayan and Spanish cultures created a culinary mix that later became enhanced with Arabic and French elements, creating a new exceptionally diverse and sophisticated gastronomy. Its large range of flavors, exotic elements and extraordinary colors opens the doors of an exquisite world to everyone who tastes it. The lime soup, the cochinita pibil (baked marinated pit pork), the papadzules, the salbutes (pieces of chicken), the panuchos (corn tortillas with black beans), the fish tikin'xic (braised), stuffed cheese, iced papaya, meringues and coco cookies are only a few of the daily delights. Some succulent meals are prepared for celebrations: the mucbil pollo (corn bread roasted in an underground pit for the Day of the Dead) and poultry in a black sauce or marinated.



clown among the streets of MéridaWhen the sun sets on the Yucatán peninsula, the inhabitants take in the fresh air in the green city parks. They tell stories, listen to the birds and enjoy the fresh evening breeze. In Mérida, the troubadours appear all dressed up in their white immaculate typical (guayaberas) and fascinate the people with their guitar and poetic songs. On the benches, the lovers declare their undying love.
The "trova" is a phenomenon born in 1890 which mixes the refinement of the Mayan indigenous, the Creole poesy, the Caribbean rhythm and the cross-cultural sweetness. Talking about love in such a delicate way, allows the Yucatán song to cross the borders. The compositions of Ricardo Palmerin, Guty Cardenas, Pastor Cervera and Armando Manzanero, among others, are world famous.

Left picture : clown among the streets of Mérida


The "jarana" is also part of the everyday life. It is an elegant and colorful dance, with spiff and mixing the Spanish jota with Mayan and Caribbean dances.
For this happy dance, the women, are dressed up with beautiful "ternos" (gala dress), luxuriously embroidered with a lace rolled hem and adorned with delicate gold filigree rosaries. They wear a flower crown and their bun is tied with a bright color bow. Their silk shawls hang on their back, the ends wrapped around their arms. The men wear elegant white shirts (guayaberas), straight white pants and the usual fine straw panama hat and the leather sole espadrilles needed for taping out the rhythm of the music with their heels.
Festival de la Trova Created twenty years ago, the folkloric ballet of the Autonomous University of Yucatán is one of the most well known in Mexico. It presents wonderful dances such as the mestizo wedding that invariably bring standing ovations from the spectators.


   Right picture : Festival de la Trova

The "Vaquerías"

The villages celebrate the Day of their Patron Saint with a huge fiesta including popular dances, mechanical rides, firecrackers, processions, offerings and exquisite meals served with handmade corn tortillas. There is no fiesta without a bullfight held in a rustic ring. This ring is usually built in few days with logs and palm leaves. The traditional dances (jaranas) follow one another, converting the women dressed in their embroidered costume into a colorful whirl. The most inspired people tell "bombas": they are little spontaneous and witty poems about the feminine beauty or the party atmosphere.

dances close by the Zocalo and in front of the City Hall in Mérida dances close by the Zocalo and in front of the City Hall in Mérida

       Pictures above : dances close by the Zocalo and in front of the City Hall in Mérida

pink flamingos in the reserve of Celestún





     Right picture : pink flamingos in the      reserve of Celestún


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