Carnivale on Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres Events and Celebrations 2017

Carnivale on Isla Mujeres
Carnivale on Isla Mujeres

Special Events on Isla Mujeres are indeed special. Not to be missed is the New Years Eve celebration in the town square, a party that lasts all night long! The Isla Carnival (February or March depending on the year) with a full 5 days and nights of dancing, parades and shows. 

For nearly a decade, Nashville has opened its heart to the children of Isla Mujeres in what has become a perfect combination of good times and goodwill. The music festival and fishing tournament takes place in February. Proceeds from the week’s activities and the accompanying online auction benefit the operations of the island’s Little Yellow Schoolhouse and its service to local, special needs children.

Every year, Nashville & Key West opens their hearts to the children of Isla Mujeres in what has become a perfect combination of good times and goodwill.  For nearly a decade, The Island Time Music and Fishing Fest has given music lovers and fishing enthusiasts the opportunity to interact with talented writers and performers under the welcoming skies of Mexico’s best kept secret—the island community of Isla Mujeres.For six days next February, attendees will enjoy world class performances daily in intimate venues across the island, with unparalleled access to the artists.

Fishermen will take to the neighboring waters in pursuit of migrating sailfish and top honors in an organized fishing tournament. Best of all, proceeds from the week’s activities—and the accompanying online auction—benefit the operations of the island’s Little Yellow Schoolhouse and its service to local, special needs children. Visit Island Time Fishing Tournament and the Island Time Music Festival for information and tickets to the events and activities.September 16 is one of Mexico’s most important holidays. Every year, local mayors and politicians re-enact the famous Grito de Dolores. In Mexico City, thousands congregate in the Zócalo, or main square, on the night of the 15th to hear the President ring the same bell that Hidalgo did and recite the Grito de Dolores.

It may come as a surprise to many of you that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day.

Not to be confused with Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla, Mexican Independence Day marks September 16, 1810, the day when priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged Mexicans to rise up against the colonial government of Spain. The call today is often referred to as the Grito de Dolores, or Cry of Dolores, named after the town of Dolores—now Dolores Hidalgo—where the cry was originally uttered, Hidalgo is believed to have said, “My Children, a new dispensation comes to us today…Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen 300 years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once.”) Independence was not won immediately, but that day—and its uprising—is typically considered the beginning of war that eventually brought the country independence in 1821.

Though September 16 is a day of full-blown festivities, celebrations of Mexican Independence Day actually begin at 11 p.m. on September 15, when Mexico’s president rings a bell at the National Palace in Mexico City and repeats Hidalgo’s famous words, to crowds that have gathered at the Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world. After each line, many of which tout key figures in the revolutionary, the spectators—an estimated more than 500,000 citizens and tourist—chant back, “¡Viva!” (This ritual is repeated in squares around the country.)

¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria!
¡Viva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Vivan Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

Mexican Flag

English translation:

Long live the heroes who gave us our homeland!
Long live Hidalgo!
Long live Morelos!
Long live Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
Long live Allende!
Long live Aldama and Matamoros!
Long live the independence of our nation!
Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico!

Streets are decorated with flags, flowers, and lights in the flag’s colors of green, white, and red. There are parades, rodeos, bullfights, and street parties, and more vendors than usual sell an assortment of whistles, horns, and toys. Fireworks (and fire) too, are a large part of the celebration: braided stalks of willow and palm are set aflame, and sell—and launch—fireworks and firecrackers.

The crowd roars, cheers and chants, and fireworks light up the sky. On the 16th, every city and town all over Mexico celebrates with parades, dances and other civic festivals.

Most Mexicans celebrate by hanging flags all over their home and spending time with family. A feast is usually involved. If the food can be made red, white and green (like the Mexican Flag) all the better!




Don’t miss the Isla Mujeres Artist Fair, every 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month, 4 – 9 pm at the Cultural Center on Avenue Abasolo and the Malecon in Centro during high season, November-May, rain or shine. Local Mexican and documented foreign resident artists, food vendors, and local non-profits share their talents with the residents & visitors of Isla Mujeres.

Have you ever celebrated Halloween in Mexico?  “Dia de los Muertos”, as it is called in Spanish.

Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a Mexican and Mexican-American celebration of dead ancestors which occurs on November 1 and November 2, coinciding with the similar Roman Catholic celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. While it is primarily viewed as a Mexican holiday, it is also celebrated in communities in the United States with large populations of Mexican-Americans, and to a lesser extent elsewhere in Latin America.

The holiday is celebrated joyfully, and though it occurs at the same time as Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day, the mood of The Day of the Dead is much lighter, with the emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, rather than fearing evil or malevolent spirits.

The origins of the celebration of The Day of the Dead in Mexico can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of Latin America, such as the Aztecs, Mayans Purepecha, Nahua and Totonac

Rituals celebrating the lives of dead ancestors had been performed by these Mesoamerican civilizations for at least 3,000 years. It was common practice to keep skulls as trophies and display them during rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. The festival which was to become El Día de los Muertos fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, near the start of August, and was celebrated for the entire month. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the “Lady of the Dead”. The festivities were dedicated to the celebration of children and the lives of dead relatives.

When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Central America in the 15th century they were appalled at the indigenous pagan practices, and in an attempt to convert the locals to Catholicism moved the popular festival to the beginning of November to coincide with the Catholic All Saints and All Souls days. All Saints Day is the day after Halloween, which was in turn based on the earlier pagan ritual of Samhain, the Celtic day and feast of the dead. The Spanish combined their custom of Halloween with the similar Mesoamerican festival, creating The Day of the Dead.

The souls of children are believed to return first on November 1, with adult spirits following on November 2. Plans for the festival are made throughout the year,including gathering the goods that will be offered to the dead. During the period of October 31 and November 2 families usually clean and decorate the graves. Some wealthier families build altars in their homes, but most simply visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas, or offerings.

These include wreaths of marigold, which are thought to attract the souls of the dead toward the offerings, and toys brought for dead children (los angelitos, or little angels) and bottles of tequila, mezcal, pulque or atole for adults.

A common symbol of the holiday is the skull, which celebrants represent in masks called calacas. Sugar skulls, inscribed with the names of the deceasedon the forehead, are often eaten by a relative or friend. Other special foods for ElDía de los Muertos includes Pan de Muertos (bread of the dead), a sweet egg bread made in many shapes, from plain rounds to skulls and rabbits.


Christmas in Mexico is celebrated during a season that begins in early December to January 6, with one other related event on February 2. During this entire time, one can see nativity scenes, poinsettias and Christmas trees. The season begins with celebrations related to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico, followed by traditions such as Las Posadas and pastorelas.


There is a mass and feast on Christmas Eve, the arrival of the Three Wise Men on January 6 ending with Candlemas and the presentation of Child Jesus images at churches. These traditions are a mixture of remnants from the pre-Hispanic period, Spanish traditions, traditions created during Mexico’s colonial period and later adaptations from German and United States Christmas traditions.

Annual Events and Holidays 2017


1st – New Years Day
6th – Epiphany – Day of the Three Kings
10th – Constitution Day of the State of Quintana Roo



5th – Anniversary of the Constitution
14th – Valentines Day
7th – 11th – Annual Island Time Fishing Tournament and the Island Time Music Festival Proceeds to benefit The Little Yellow School House
23rd – 28th – Carnival 2017



3rd – Anniversary of the discovery of Isla Mujeres
17th – St. Patrick’s Day
21st – Godfather’s Day
21st – Anniversary of the Birth of Benito Juarez



1st – April Fool’s Day

28th – May 5th – Regatta del Sol al Sol
30th – Children’s Day (Día del Niño)
TBA – IV Women’s Fishing Tournament



1st – May Day & Labor Day
5th – Day of the Battle of Puebla (Cinco de Mayo)
10th – Mother’s Day Mexico
15th – Teacher’s Day
19th – 21st – 14th Annual Fisherman’s Tournament

Info at: Tel. 998 877 0307



1st – International Day of the Mexican Navy
6th – Scared Heart Day
12th – Government Employees Day
12th – Tree Day
15th – Father’s Day
21st – Summer Solstice



17th – Secretary’s Day
18th – Anniversary of the death of President Benito Juarez
30th – Anniversary of the death of Miguel Hidalgo

TBA – Annual Whale Shark Festival



2nd – Procession of La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre
8th – Anniversary of the birth of Emiliano Zapata (1879)
17th – Anniversary of the Founding of Isla Mujeres

Isla Fest, a celebration of the anniversary of Isla Mujeres
17th – Anniversary of the Cross of the Bay



7th – Worldwide Tourism Day
11th – Festival of the Virgin de la Caridad del Cobre
13th – Anniversary of the Children Heroes of Chapultepec
15th – 16th – Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico.



8th – Anniversary of the Statehood of Quintana Roo
9th – Fisherman’s Day
12th – Columbus Day
31st – Halloween



1st – All Saint’s Day (Día de Muertos)
2nd – All Souls Day (Hanal Pixan)
20th – Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution (Parade with all the school children and the Navy in the morning)



Nov. 28th – Dec. 8th – Festival of the Virgin Immaculate Conception
12th – Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe
16th – 24th – Posadas Navideña
21st – Winter Solstice
24th – Christmas Eve
25th – Christmas Day
31st – New Year’s Eve Celebration

2 thoughts on “Isla Mujeres Events and Celebrations 2017

  • Avatar
    November 7, 2017 at 5:31 PM

    Looking to purchase tables for New Years eve celebration

  • Avatar
    November 30, 2017 at 1:11 PM

    Looking to purchase tables for New Year’s Eve..
    Please forward information to
    Linda Reichle @

    Thanks in advance!!


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