Día de los Santos Reyes: Three Kings Day, on January 6, is when children traditionally receive their presents, commemorating the Three Kings’ gifts to baby Jesus. Bakeries are stocked full of rosca de reyes, a sweetbread dotted with candied fruit and hiding a plastic baby Jesus in its bready interior.
Semana Santa: The week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday sees solemn processions in small towns and certain Mexico City neighborhoods, and large crowds leaving the big cities for a relaxing weeklong vacation.
Día de la Independencia: September 16 marks the anniversary of Father Miguel Hidalgo’s 1810 call to revolution against Spain. There is nothing quite like standing in the middle of a sea of people in the Mexico City zócalo on the night of September 15, with all of them shouting “¡Viva México!”
Festival Internacional Cervantino: Guanajuato’s two-week arts festival in October is one of Latin America’s biggest and best cultural events. Book early and expect crowds.
Dia de los Muertos: On November 2, the dead commune with the living among altars and cemeteries full of candy calaveras (skulls), candles, pan de muerto (traditional bread for the occasion), beer, photos of dead loved ones, and mounds of cempasúchitl (marigolds). Pátzcuaro and Oaxaca have especially vibrant celebrations.