Mexican culture

Mexico is famed for its vibrant, colourful culture but there are actually several cultural subdivisions within the nation, with north, central and south Mexico having their own traditions and customs.

In the last few decades life in urban Mexico has become very similar to life in developed urban areas in the US and Europe but rural Mexicans are still likely to follow the old traditions and maintain the old views.

That being said the sense of a ‘national identity’ is very important right across Mexico. In public schools, for example, children sing the national anthem and pledge allegiance to the national flag. The stripes of the national flag are red, white and green, symbolising blood, purity and hope respectively.

In Mexico the most important icon is the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is considered to be the mother of all Mexican’s and is thought to be representative of the blending of European and Meso-American peoples that defined Mexico’s past.

Family is at the core of Mexican social structure and in more rural areas families are typically large. Mexican families are also quite traditional, in that the father is usually the head of the household and the main decision maker. Another important aspect of Mexican social culture related to this structuring is ‘Machismo’ (masculinity). Machismo can be displayed outwardly in a variety of ways and is considered by many men as essential to maintaining their image.

Mexican business and society is vertically structured with great importance placed on hierarchical relationships and rank.

Possibly the most famous aspect of Mexican culture is the nation’s extensive and unique cuisine in which Spanish and indigenous flavours are melded together.

National holidays

Mexico has several of its own national holidays and days of observance;

Day of the Holy Kings – January 6th

Constitution Day Memorial – February 4th/5th

Flag Day – February 24th

Oil Expropriation – March 18th

Benito Juarez Birthday Memorial – March 21st

Labour Day/May Day – May 1st

Cinco de Mayo – May 5th

Shout of Dolores – September 15th

Independence Day – September 16th

Revolution Day Memorial – November 20th

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe – December 12th

Day of the Holy Innocents – December 28th