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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

Other Events and Festivals

Grito de la Independencia - September 15th is Mexican Independence Day! A massive celebration involving plenty of singing, dancing and fireworks takes place in the Zócalo. Everyone here awaits an appearance from Mexico's president who rings a bell from a central balcony of the Palacio Nacional overlooking the Zócalo. The president then shouts out the Grito de Dolores, or the Cry of Dolores which was Father Hidalgo's famous call to arms against Spanish rule in 1810.

  • Dia de la Candelaria. Candlemas is held February 2nd and commemorates Jesus being introduced into the temple 40 days after his birth. This nationwide celebration sees many different ways of celebrating and many towns hold processions, bullfights and dances. Of course, plenty of delicious, traditional foods are served during Dia de la Candelaria as well.
  • Carnaval is held in late February or early March throughout all of Mexico. This big party is meant to celebrate the 40 day penance of Lent. Carnaval always takes place during the week or so prior to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. Mexicans celebrate this holiday with fireworks, food, dancing, parades, dancing and drinking.
  • Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a huge celebration which starts on Palm Sunday. This is a very popular time for Mexicans to take a short break; as a result, it seems most of the country is on the move, with buses and hotels often booked out. As for the celebration of Semana Santa, expect colorful processions and many masses at churches everywhere.
  • Día de Nuestra Seňora de Guadalupe, or Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, is held December 12th. There is a week-long build up to this religious celebration in honour of the Virgin who appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego in the year 1531. Since then, the Lady of Guadalupe has been Mexico's religious patron and her veneration is very significant. It is traditional for young boys to be dressed as a Juan Diego and for young girls to be dressed in indigenous garb and brought to a special mass, held at many churches throughout the country.

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Getting There

From Creel
There are a few options. Firstly; you could rent a car (expensive and bold move due to the roads). Secondly you could catch the bus (old 50s rusted out small thing that leaves Creel at 5am, not a good option). Thirdly, and most advisable (and a lot of fun), hitch hike. I was told this by an American dude called Chad i met in that pub from above who had chosen Creel as his place to have a break for a few years (Tell him Jono from Australia says gday if he's still there). All the locals do it. It's perfectly safe. Just speak to someone in Creel to get an idea of which direction to go and you'll be right. It really is an INCREDIBLE experience sitting in the back of a ute (Aussie for pick-up truck) next to some local Tarahumaran tribesman looking up (and down) at the most awe inspiring canyons you've ever imagined. "Be careful" though, as some potential ride givers in the area may offer you drugs. If you're not that way inclined, which ill assume you're not, a simple no thankyou will be all that is needed.

Along the way, you'll come across a small, and I mean miniature, town called La Bufa. If you have the chance, stay here for a night either on the way to Batopillas or on the way back. Just speak to the family in the house on the left (you'll know the one when you get there) and they'll have a room for you up on the hill. If travelling alone, this will possibly the most tranquil 24 hours of your life. If with your significant other, there is plenty of privacy here. If with a mate, just enjoy the serenity. After all, the population of the place is 11. Go for a small hike down the cliff-side to the river for a swim. the water will be cold, and i mean properly cold, but there's nothing like swimming in a fresh water river with tribesman coming down to feed the goats and nothing but nature surrounding. La Bufa - do it.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 10:05 on Apr 24, 19 by Utrecht. No articles link to this page.

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