Festivals Events

Bajacalifornianos observe all major national and Catholic holidays (see opposite), some of which involve public festivities, processions, music and food. Special festivities and fairs such as Carnaval and saints' days usually take place in major towns and cities. See regional entries for information on local events.

January

Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings' Day, Epiphany) Mexican children traditionally receive gifts on this day (January 6), rather than at Christmas.

February

Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas) Processions, bullfights and dancing occur in many towns on February 2 to commemorate the presentation of Jesus in the temple, 40 days after his birth.

Carnaval (Carnival) Celebrated in Ensenada (p101), San Felipe (p139) and La Paz (p195), usually the week before Lent (late February to early March), with parades, music, food and fireworks.

March/April

Día del Señor San José (St Joseph's Day) Residents of San José del Cabo (p223) celebrate the festival of St Joseph, the town's patron saint, on March 19 with street dances, horse races, food fairs and fireworks. Semana Santa (Holy Week) Starting on Palm Sunday (March/April), a week before Easter, this festival is celebrated in every church in Baja. It's also when Mexicans flock to the beaches to paaarty, so be ready.

August

Fiesta de la Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival) Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe (p111) kick off the grape-harvest season in early August.

September

Día de Nuestra Señora de Loreto (Our Lady of Loreto) Loreto (p180) celebrates its founding with much vigor on September 8.

Día de la Independencia Commemorates Mexican independence from Spain (1821) from September 15 to 16. The biggest celebrations take place in Tijuana (p75) and La Paz (p195), with fireworks, horse races, folk dances and mariachi bands.

November

Día de Todos los Santos (All Saints' Day) Cemeteries throughout Mexico come alive as families visit graveyards to commune with their dead on the night of November 1. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festivities continue on November 2, when the souls of the dead are lonelyplanet.com believed to return to earth. The festivities are especially colorful in Tijuana (p75).

December

Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe) Tecate (p123) hosts one of Baja's most interesting versions of this celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12. Posadas Children and adults parade with candles from December 16 to 24, reenacting the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem; this celebration is more common in small towns than big cities.

Navidad (Christmas Day) December 25 marks the end of a week of posadas.

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