Hispanic Holidays/Dias Feriados

D�a de los Reyes (Latin America) – January 6th

Epiphany is one of three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter. It is celebrated by most Christians on January 6 to commemorate the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi, or three wise men.

More infoEpiphany – D�a de los Reyes Magos

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (U.S.A) – 3rd Monday in January

In 1983, the 98th Congress passed Public Law 98-144 to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. This was first celebrated as a Federal legal holiday on January 20, 1986 and has been observed on the third Monday of January since that time. Congress’ intention was that the holiday” serve as a time for Americans to reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr.” (36 USC, Section 169j).

More infoMKL Day and Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech.


Cinco de Mayo (Mexico) – May 5th

Commemorates an important Mexican battle that could be considered the beginning of the Mexican national identity, although it is not widely celebrated in Mexico.

More infoCinco de Mayo

Guadalupe Day (Mexico) – December 12th

Commemorates the appearance, in December 1531 on Tepeyac hill outside of Mexico, of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, a humble Indian convert. During her appearance, she asked Diego to tell the bishop to build her a shrine there. When the bishop refused to believe Diego’s story, the Virgin reappeared to Diego, leaving her image on his cloak as a sign. Her request for a shrine was fully honored, and on this day thousands of pilgrims flock to the famous Church of Guadalupe, where the image still hangs without having deteriorated after more than 4 centuries. The story of Juan Diego and the Virgin is reenacted in a puppet show each year, and relics are sold in the streets. Nuestra Se�ora de Guadelupe is the patron saint of Mexico, and of all Central and South America.


Posadas (Mexico) – December 16th – 24th

Nine-day Christmas religious and social celebration commemorating Mary and Joseph’s (the parents of Jesus) journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The Misa de Gallo, or Mass of the Cock (because it’s held so early in the morning), ends after midnight, and some towns have fireworks and parades with floats of biblical scenes. Small villages may hold candlelit processions with images of Mary and Joseph. Reenacting their search for shelter (posada) before Jesus was born, a group will knock on someone’s door and ask to be let in. They may be refused at first, but are finally invited in for a party. Children try to break pi�atas (papier-m�ch� animals, filled with candy, toys, and coins, which are hung from the ceiling). This is repeated for 9 evenings, ending on Christmas Eve.

More infoPosadas

Mexican Independence Day (Mexico) – dates

Mexican Independence Day is the culmination of the Fiesta Patrias, a festival celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain. The festival reaches a dramatic peak on September 15 at 11:00 p.m. when the President appears on the balcony of the National Palace to recite the Grito de Dolores. This “cry of Dolores” recreates the speech given by Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo on September 15,1810.


Hidalgo called for Mexican self-rule and a revolt against Spain. He was captured and executed by Spanish troops in 1811 and Mexico did not win independence from Spain until 1821.


Independence Day is celebrated on September 16 with fireworks, parades, and ringing of cathedral bells.

More info: Cinco de Mayo History | Mexican Independence Day

Day (country) – date(s)


Web log:
Created: 12 de diciembre del 2003.
Updated: septiembre del 2005.