Culture | Autumn Equinox at Kulkulcan
Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun: 19 – 21 September 2013
The Kukulcán’s pyramid, located in the Chichen itza Maya site, is notable for the Spring and Fall equinoxes (March 21 and September 22) when the sun projects an undulating pattern of light on the northern stairway for a few hours in the late afternoon. This extraordinary pattern is caused by the angle of the sun and the edge of the nine steps that define the pyramid’s construction. These triangles of light link up with the massive stone carvings of snake heads at the base of the stairs, suggesting a massive serpent is moving down the structure. It is believed that the Mayans used the various shadows and designs formed by the Pyramid to signal the beginning of a harvest or of a planting, to predict the best dates to be married or to be buried, and for other ceremonial reasons. This was the time when the Mayans held their most significant ceremonies at the base of the pyramid.
Performance | Cervantino Festival
Guanajuato: 9 – 27 October 2013
Internacional Cervantino is one of the largest arts festivals held in Mexico, and one of the best places to find a wide variety of cultural performances, spanning across the genres of music, dance, art and theatre. Held every year in the city of Guanajuato, a UNESCO world Heritage site, this festival attracts performers from over 29 countries. Since it started in 1972, the festival has been taking place in many historic venues including the Teatro Juárez, built between 1872 and 1903. Events can also be found in the Teatro Principal, the Teatro Cervantes, the Teatro de Minas and the Auditorio del Estado. Some of the concerts are held in the Churrigueresque style churches of La Valenciana and La Compañía. Visual arts exhibitions are on display at the beautiful spaces of the University of Guanajuato campus, in the Museo Regional de la Alhóndiga de Granaditas, the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, the Museo Olga Costa-José Chávez Morado, the Museo Iconográfico del Quijote and the Museo del Pueblo.
Film | The Morelia International Film Festival
Morelia: 18 – 27 October 2013
Situated in downtown Morelia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this international film festival brings both local and global audiences into the oldest areas of the city for screenings. The festival began by showcasing short films, and has now expanded to a broader programming of documentary and narrative features. An important event for new and upcoming talent, the festival’s aim is to connect Mexican filmmakers, members of the industry and its audiences. Cinepolis, the largest theatre owner in Latin America, is a huge supporter, with its CEO Alejandro Ramirez Magaña serving as the Morelia festival’s president.
Culture | Day of The Dead
Throughout Mexico: 1 – 2 November
The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a Mexican celebration which traces back to the indigenous peoples of Latin America, including the Aztecs, Mayans Purepecha, Nahua and Totonac. Taking place on the 1st and 2nd of November, this holiday celebrates and honours the lives of the deceased, rather than fearing evil or malevolent spirits found in the Roman Catholic celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This colourful event has been celebrated by the Mesoamerican civilisations for at least 3,000 years and originally fell on the ninth month of the Aztec solar calendar, near the start of August, and was celebrated for the entire month. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the ‘Lady of the Dead’ and dedicated to the celebration of children and the lives of dead relatives. Today, the customs in Mexico vary from town to town, and when celebrated abroad it also takes on its own unique flair in each community.
Food | XIX Festival Gourmet
Puerto Vallarta: 14 – 23 November 2013
Held annually for 10 days every November, the gourmet food festival holds an array of cocktail parties, progressive dinners and gourmet buffets in the region’s best restaurants, including Café des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Nicksan in Nuevo Vallarta and Emiliano in Tepic. Located in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Tepic, the festival events feature delicious Mexican wines at wine tastings and winemakers’ nights, combined with chefs’ tables at different Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta restaurants. The programme draws in international chefs from Europe, the USA, Canada and South America, as well as other countries.
Culture | Mexican Revolution Day
Mexico City: 20 November 2013
Celebrated throughout Mexico, and mainly in Mexico City, Revolution Day (Dia de la Revolución) is a national public holiday that marks the 10-year revolution which began in 1910 to end the struggle against dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori. Visitors can witness major parades on the city streets where public schools usually participate, and representations of what happened on November 20. The Zócalo of Mexico City is the main place where the festivities take place which include traditional festivities such as bazaars (markets), parades, presentations, folkloric songs, poetry and live music.
Music | Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
Playa Mamitas, Playa del Carmen: 28 – 30 November 2013
Located near Cancun and Cozumel, Riviera Maya boasts an enviable location along the country’s Caribbean coast and offers a landscape of natural beauty. Every year in November, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is held here, and is considered one of the ten best jazz festivals in the world. Mamita’s Beach Club plays host of this free event, and 2013’s event boasts an acclaimed line-up of internationally renowned jazz musicians. Acts from this years line up include Aguamala, Allan Holdsworth and Brent Fischer.
Literature | Guadalajara International Book Fair
Guadalajara: 30 Nov – 8 December
The Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) is the largest book fair in the Spanish-speaking world. This year it’s country guest of honour is Israeli, and the fair will feature ten Israeli publishing companies along with 36 writers, among them novelists Aaron Appelfeld, David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua, as well as Savon Liebrecht, Zeruya Shalev and Etgar Keret. The Israel pavilion at the FIL, designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten, is constructed entirely from recycled materials and will feature exhibitions of facsimiles of the Dead Sea Scrolls and of Einstein’s manuscripts, and a space dedicated to science and technology. The exhibition Plural: A Panorama of Contemporary Israeli Art will run concurrently at the Instituto Cultural Cabañas in downtown Guadalajara, featuring works by a dozen artists born in the 1970s and 80s, while the FIL’s esplanade will play host to a number of music acts. Israel’s Avi Ostrowsky will also conduct the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra at Guadalajara’s Degollado Theatre during the fair.
Music | Festival de Música de Morelia
Morelia: November 2013
The Music Festival of Morelia Miguel Bernal Jimenez came in July 1989 with the aim of promoting the teaching of music and has become an important forum for cultural exchange between Mexico and the rest of the world. It has become an important showcase for Mexican musicians and has established itself as an important link between students and the musicians involved in the festival’s programme of courses and lectures. The festival has won the Mozart Medal, awarded by the Austrian government and the Academy Mozart Medal organisation. This festival has also been nominated twice for Lunas del Auditorio medal for displaying the best classical performances. The concerts will be held at the Morelia Cathedral and other churches, the Government´s Palace, Las Rosas Conservatory and Palacio Clavijero, as well as other buildings and squares in downtown Morelia.
Food | Actopan National Mole Fair
Milpa Alta, Mexico City: 1 – 21 October 2013
During the 1920s the old town of San Pedro Actopan was a small village built of adobe, stone, grass and shingle with no running water or electricity. This village began to improve when a family started the business of ‘mole’ at home during the 60s, giving rise to an industry which now employs 90 percent of the population, and whose main market is Mexico City. To celebrate this town’s success, the Feria Nacional del Mole (National Mole Fair) is held here every year. Mole is a traditional sauce, which requires up to 28 ingredients. The specialty in San Pedro Actopan is mole almendrado, which has a legendary secret recipe.