Colors, floats, festivals, the King, the Queen, the endless dancing and other activities take a hold of the cities where Mexico’s most famous carnivals take place, which are just around the corner.
In Mexico, these joyful festivals are celebrated according to the culture and traditions of each ethnic group around the country.
However, in all these Shrovetides, which take place days before Ash Wednesday, the “Burning of Bad Moods” kicks off the great celebrations that last until the break of dawn.
The Veracruz Carnival, 'the world’s most joyous carnival'
Celebrated since 1925, this festival has consolidated itself as Mexico’s most important carnival due to its dances, facemask parties and the traditional dance shows, part of Veracruz’ folklore.
The “Burning of Bad Moods”, which marks the carnival’s beginning, is a joyful parody that makes an allusion to a hated public figure or to an adversity experienced during the past year, and it is then symbolically burned using fireworks that light up the sky with different colors.
The coast of the beautiful Veracruz Port is the main stage for this festival, which for nine days is the proud scenario of guitars, marimbas and harps interpreting traditional songs.
Afterwards, the crowning (the presentation of the new king and queen) and the parades take place, which are the carnival’s most emotional moments since thousands of people take over two miles of the city’s main streets along floats, batucadas (drum circles) and krewes in a joyful and festive environment.
The ending comes with the burial of Juan Carnaval, a show where the carnival’s king and queen attend dressed in black, and it symbolizes the end of the “world’s most joyous carnival”.
The Mazatlan Carnival, music and culture
To the rhythm of the tambora (a percussion instrument similar to a drum), thousands of local and foreign visitors are attracted to the state of Sinaloa’s most representative festival, which is characterized by the joyous mood under the sound of banda music.
This celebration, which is over 100 years old, and boasting as backstage the beautiful beaches of Mazatlan, includes artistic and cultural activities among its broad musical program to satisfy all kinds of tastes.
The crowning, the flour and confetti games, the parades, the naval combat and the Informal Dance bring great joy, bustle and fun to the residents of Mazatlan, who welcome all visitors with open arms.
The Merida Carnival, joy and tradition
With a great tradition, the Merida Carnival takes place in the middle of a family atmosphere where the main objective is to have fun and to promote the region’s cultural beauty and traditional clothing.
Rhythms such as mambo, cumbia and salsa accompany the more than 2,500 dancers, music bands and international artists presenting their shows during the eight days of this festival, which does not take place in a port city, unlike the country’s main Shrovetides.
Besides the krewes, parades and musical shows, the Campeche Carnival stands out because it has a king and queen crowning for people with disabilities, thus including everyone on this great celebration.
On a different note, the festivities in Ensenada, Baja California try to develop different activities, such as floats from different cities, the Oppressed Husband Dance and the Best Krewes Awards.
The Ensenada Carnival welcomes, year after year, hundreds of foreign visitors that enjoy the different celebrations.
Other carnival festivities take place in southern cities, such as Cozumel, from February 15th through the 22nd, and Tuxpan during the month of March, and in other regions as well.