Traditions in Mazatlan
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Mexican Posadas

"La Posadas," the remarkable buildup to Christmas Eve, is perhaps the most delightful and unique Mexican tradition. Beginning December 16th, it commemorates the events in the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

After dark, each night of the "Posada," a procession begins led by two children. The children carry a small pine-decorated platform bearing replicas of Joseph and Mary riding a burro. Other members of the company, all with lighted long slender candles, sing the "Litany of the Virgin" as they approach the door of the house assigned to the first "Posada." Together they chant an old traditional song and awaken the mast of the house to ask lodging for Mary. Those within the house threaten the company with beatings unless they move on. Again, the company pleads for admittance. When the owner of the house finally learns who his guests are, he jubilantly throws open the doors and bids them welcome. All kneel around the manger scene or "Nacimiento" and offer songs of welcome, Ave Marias and a prayer.

Now it's time of the "Pinata," refreshments and dancing. The "Pinata" is a pottery (or paper) container, brightly decorated and filled with candy and toys. It is hung from he ceiling or a tree. One by one, the children are blindfolded, turned around and instructed to strike the Pinata with a stick. Usually several attempts are made before the container is broken. Of course, when that happens, there is an explosion of goodies and a scattering of children.

On Christmas Eve another verse is added to the Ave Marias, telling the Virgin Mary that the desired night has come. Small children dressed as shepherds stand on either side of the nativity scene while members of the company kneel and sing a litany, after which the Christ Child is lulled to sleep with the cradle song, "El Rorro" (Babe in Arms).

At midnight the birth of Christ is announced with fireworks, ringing bells and blowing whistles. Devout worshipers surge into churches to attend the famous "Misa de Gallo" or "Mass of the Rooster." Following Mass, families return home for a tremendous dinner of traditional Mexican foods. The dishes vary with the different regions. However, somewhat common are the ,"tamales," rice, rellenos, "atole" (a sweet traditional drink) and "menudo," which is said to be more sobering than strong coffee.

Christmas Day has no special celebration though many have adopted the American style Christmas with a Christmas tree and Santa Claus.


Almost every region of Mexico has its local bands, but in Mazatlan the band acquired a different personality thanks to the nostalgic feelings of a group of Germari businessmen who lived here. They wanted to incorporate new wind instruments into the traditional bands, and they gave local musicians accesss to the musical scores for Prussian songs, polkas and marches, so that these local groups began to sound different from bands in the rest of the country. The Sinaloan tambora of the 20th century was the precursor of what is now called "musica grupera", whose popularity reaches all of mexico.

El Mes Patrio

September is the most important month for Mexican history. Las Fiestas Patrias, or Homeland Celebrations, include La Noche del Grito, Mexican Independence Day, and el Día de Los Ninos Héroes de Chapultepec. All are celebrated in mid September making it an important month for Mexican National heritage. Find out how Las Fiestas Patrias originated, or read about the activities that surround this festive day.

Similar to other Mexican celebrations, people take time to enjoy the day and gather with friends and family. Here are a few of the activities that take place during Fiestas Patrias. Bands play live marachi music in parks and plazas. Artists create and sell their crafts to people who are strolling through the streets. Dancers and actors put on elaborate theater performances for large audiences. People gather and share large, home-cooked meals. Large quantities of beer and tequila are shared among friends and family. Communities and homes are decorated with Mexican flags and red, green and white ribbons. On September 16, there are elaborate fireworks displays throughout Mazatlán. Friends and families dance together, yelling, "ÁViva Mexico!"



In Mazatlan, the callejoneadas (street processions) started as occasional activities in the late 20th century. The idea was to promote the Historic Center when the renovation of the area began. This traditional Mexican custom was revived so that both locals and visitors could appreciate the historic value of the area with its narrow streets, its plazas and its old mansions where generations of Mazatlecos had lived their lives.

These public streets walks also have been used to promote the programs of cultural festivals, of carnaval and of other popular festivities such as the Day of the Dead. In the callejoneadas the people gather to socialize, to have fun, even to dance in a friendly atmosphere full of memories, of nostalgia, of pride for a past that has not been entirely lost.



In the Mediterranean, sacrificing bulls is a practice dating back to pre-historic times. In Greece for example, killing the minotaur is symbolic of a bullfight.

Bullfighting as we know it today, started in the village squares, and became formalised, with the building of the bullring in Ronda in the late 18th century. From that time, it began to follow a particular sequence of events: the entrance of the bull, the picador, the banderilleros, and finally the matador (bullfighter). Many of the picadors' horses were injured in the early days, so these heavy horses now wear protection.

Novice bullfighter is called a novillero and fights not in a corrida, but in a novillada with young bulls (novillos)

Bullfighting on horseback is called rejoneo.

In Mazatlán, Bullfights are held at the bullring Plaza de Toros Monumentual at Calzada Rafael Buelna a short ride from the Golden Zone . The bullfighting season runs from December to April every Sunday and most holidays. You can also find rodeos or charreadas during the offseason. See a Picture