Mexican festivals reflect the local customs and traditions of the area. San Cristóbal de las Casas is surrounded by small indigenous groups with many ancient traditions, which are still very much alive and celebrated. In addition to the national holidays celebrated throughout the country, the city has its own festive days; the result is a huge list of popular festivities enjoyed in this Magical Town in the midst of people from many different ethnic groups.
The main religious celebrations in San Cristóbal de las Casas take place at Easter, when the traditional "Procesión del Vía Crucis" ("Procession of the Way of the Cross") is held along with a Saturday fair announcing the Resurrection.
Also, between November and December, the "Antorcha Guadalupana" ("Guadalupana Torch") race is held. This race involves young pilgrims whose mission is to go to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Guatemala in groups and return to San Cristóbal, running with the torch lit in time for the Virgin of Guadalupe party on December 12.
Another important area San Cristóbal festival is the Carnival in San Juan Chamula, held in February and March. During this celebration, parades, masses, and purification and healing rituals can be seen, including walking on burning coals, a ritual with chicken eggs, and animals sacrificed in the name of the Mayan gods, the Catholic God, and the saints for protection.