February is one of the most festive months in Mexico and in this blog we are going to tell you why.
Let’s start with February 2nd. This date is called Día de la Candelaria in honor of the Virgin of the Candelaria, a catholic festivity. However, this day also is well known by both Mexicans and foreigners as the tamales day. Do you remember that on January 6th we Mexicans cut the traditional Rosca de Reyes? Well, in this Rosca de Reyes there are many little child Jesuses made of plastic, and if you are lucky enough to cut a piece of rosca with one child Jesus, that means you will have to buy tamales for everyone who cut the rosca with you. When? On February 2nd. Also, this is the official day to put all the Christmas ornaments and decorations away.
The next holiday during this month is February 5th, or Día de la Constitución. While February 2nd is not an official holiday, February 5th is. Banks are closed and many stores are also closed. On February 5th we celebrate our Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. This is the current constitution of Mexico. It was drafted in Santiago de Querétaro in El Teatro de la República, which we highly recommend to visit. It is in the State of Querétaro. The current Constitution was signed by a constitutional convention during the Mexican Revolution. It is the successor to the Constitution of 1857 and earlier Mexican Constitutions.
The current Constitution of 1917 is the first such document in the world to set out social rights, serving as a model for other constitutions of other countries. Some of the most important provisions are Articles 3, 27 and 123. These articles display profound changes in Mexican political philosophy that helped frame the political and social backdrop for Mexico in the 20th century. Aimed at restricting the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, Article 3 established the bases for a free, mandatory and secular education. Article 27 led the foundation for land reforms. And, article 123 was designed to empower the labor sector, which had emerged in the late 19th century and had supported the winning side of the Mexican Revolution.
Then, we continue with February 14th, or Día de San Valentín. This date is very well known by expats in Mexico and much of the rest of the world. While some say it is a prefabricated holiday made up by corporations, most people use this date to celebrate their love and tell their friends and family how much they appreciate them and love them. We Mexicans celebrate this day by going to the movies or having a romantic dinner or maybe just a gathering among friends.
Finally, the last but not least is February 24th, or Día de la Bandera. The Mexican flag is considered by many people to be the most beautiful flag of all the countries in the world. Do you know what its colors represent? Green represents the freedom of the Mexican people, white represents the catholic religion and red stands for the union of both Europeans and Mexicans in Mexico. These were the original meanings when the Mexican flag was created in 1821, although the flag’s design was a bit different. It wasn’t until 1968 that the flag of Mexico we know today was adopted.
The most important emblem of the Mexican Flag is the eagle perched on a cactus devouring a snake. This symbol refers to Lake Texcoco and it is based on the legend of how the Aztec people wandered for hundreds of years to found their city. The gods told them to settle down wherever they saw an eagle perched on a cactus devouring the snake. That’s how the city of Tenochtitlán was born, which became modern day Mexico City.
As you can see, February is one of the most festive months in Mexico, involving traditions, costumes, holidays and historic events. And, let’s not forget the weather. It’s lovely, especially in Puerto Vallarta!