Playa Del Carmen Holidays
…all the most special days of the year…
Put the turkey in the oven, invite the family members you don’t speak to for the rest of the year, then slowly get drunk and argue.
Sound like Thanksgiving? It certainly sounds like my Thanksgivings in the States.
And for all the arguing, there is little better in the world than a public holiday.
Except there are so few in the States!
The government has made everyone workaholics who rarely get a day off.
But in Mexico, the government workers are the people who want a day off! (They usually don’t work very hard here anyways.)
Consequently, they’ve come up with holidays for everything.
And then the local government has invented a dozen more holidays just in case the federal holidays weren’t enough.
Why Is It Important To Know About Playa Del Carmen Holidays
Some Mexican holidays are the same as those in the States.
Like Easter, for example.
This is when half the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus by telling their children that a magical bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night.
I never understood the correlation.
It’s good to know about Playa Del Carmen holidays for two reasons:
- Firstly, there are some banging parties and festivals at holiday time. If you can coordinate your visit with one of these, you’ll have an awesome vacation.
- Secondly, during some holidays, a lot of local services close down. That means the ATMs run out of cash (you MUST plan ahead), the immigration dudes shut up shop, and things go up in price.
After three years of living in Playa Del Carmen, I’ve experienced the good and the bad of Playa Del Carmen holidays.
The bad was mainly the shocking hangovers I woke up with after a party.
So here is a list of all the Playa Del Carmen holidays:
January To March
- New Years Day – Everything is closed but everyone is too hungover to do anything.
- January 6th – Day of the Kings – A Mexican celebration of Christmas when children receive presents.
- February 5th – Mexican Constitution Day – Grab the tequila and start drinking at 9am because this day involves nothing but drunkenness.
- February 24th – Flag Day – A random Mexican public holiday involving more tequila and public drunkenness.
- End of February / start of March – Carnival – This might not quite be Brazil, but the carnival in Playa Del Carmen is one immense party. Head to the main square for five days of live music and parades. The carnival dates change every year as they coincide with the beginning of lent.
- Late February / early March – 1st Day of Lent – You will probably see lots of locals with crosses on their forehead.
- March 17th – St Patrick’s Day – Those drunken Irish get everywhere with their parties!
- March 21st – Benito Juarez’s Birthday – Celebrating the most loved president of Mexico this is a public holiday of mass outpourings of nationalism. A good one to spend with a local youth you want to understand more.
- March 21st – Spring Solstice – If celebrating Mr. Juarez doesn’t suit you, then go to Chichen Itza to see the serpent appear on the Castillo pyramid.
April – June
- Semana Santa or ‘Saint Week’– The week over Easter is the biggest national holiday in Mexico. Everything shuts down and Playa Del Carmen becomes pretty busy with local tourists. In many ways it’s a good time to avoid.
- May 1st – Labor Day – Woohoo! Another random public holiday that most people spend by drinking more tequila.
- May 5th – Battle of Puebla – Celebrating the Mexicans defeating the French in 1862 this is another public holiday best enjoyed with some locals.
- Mid May time – Cancun International Gay Festival – Colorful costumes, crazy parties, mental costumes, and a good night out all around.
- June 1st – Navy Day – Yes, a day off to celebrate everyone who makes their living at sea.
- Late June – Summer Solstice – If you’re in Playa Del Carmen then head to Chichen Itza to enjoy the longest night of the year
July – September
- Early July – Mayan New Year – A good time to go swimming in cenotes and exploring the Mayan ruins.
- Mid July – Fiesta of the Virgin of Carmen – A national festival that celebrates local culture. There is always entertainment and expositions going on around Playa Del Carmen.
- End of July – Tequila Exposition – Don’t miss it. You get to drink tequila and claim it was a learning experience.
- August 11-13th – Fiesta de la Playa en Cancun – Three days of insane partying for tourists on the Cancun beach.
- August 17th – Isla Mujeres Founding Day – Visit Isla Mujeres for a more local Mexican holiday vibe.
- September 1st – President’s State of Nation Address – Nothing happens on this day. Seriously. They just close the banks and government offices and people sit around wondering what they’re supposed to do. Oh…some people do listen to the president.
- September 16th – Mexican Independence Day – Take that you Spanish conquerors! A hardcore drinking marathon and much local patriotism awaits anyone getting involved.
October – December
- Mid-October – Dia de La Raza – Welcome back to the Spanish! This Mexican Columbus Day in Cancun involves processions, bullfights, street parties and everything else from the colonial conquerors.
- November 1st and 2nd – All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead (similar to Halloween in the US) – These two spiritual holidays pay homage to the souls of departed children (November 1st) and adults (November 2nd) that descend from heaven. It’s a local thing, and you’ll find many families visiting tombs and churches.
- November 20th – Anniversary of Mexican Revolution – How many different times can the locals celebrate being Mexican? Completely ridiculous. Here’s another day of tequila and dancing.
- End November – Riviera Maya Jazz Festival – Dance away for free on the Mamitas Beach.
- Christmas Eve – the traditional day to celebrate Christmas in Mexico. Usually a family affair.
- Christmas Day – A quiet public holiday, except for the tourist part of Playa Del Carmen, where all the bars offer Christmas specials.
- New Years Eve – Hundreds of parties to choose from in Playa Del Carmen!
Should I Come To Playa Del Carmen During A Holiday?
Playa Del Carmen holidays are always a great laugh and there is always an awesome atmosphere and lots of activities around Playa Del Carmen.
Just make sure you know the dates and stock up on cash and anything you might need from the shops, BEFORE it’s party time.
Then go out and party! Enjoy!
Lots of love,
It’s your turn. Do you know of any local or national holidays that I’m missing in this list? Please leave them in the comments section below!