San Cristobal is a vibrant place to observe some of Mexico’s most traditional festivals and celebrations including Semana Santa (Easter Week), Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe). In San Cristobal you’ll also be able to take part in cultural events and unique regional festivals steeped in local folklore.
Two of the most important annual festivals in San Cristobal are the celebration of the founding of the city on March 31st and the Fiesta de San Cristobal (Feast of San Cristobal) that takes place from July 16 to 25. Time your visit to San Cristobal during either of these festivals to enjoy parades, fireworks, marimba bands, neighborhood parties and other Chiapas traditions.
Every April, San Cristobal celebrates the arrival of spring with the Feria de la Primavera y de la Paz (Spring Fair). One of the largest local festivals and Chiapas attractions, the Spring Fair involves parades, carnival rides and games, art exhibits, concerts and cultural events.
The Cervantes International Baroque Festival, the most important in San Cristobal, takes place each year in late October. During the weeklong celebration, San Cristobal’s cultural centers, theaters and public spaces host a variety of concerts, dance performances, street theater, art exhibits, food fairs and more.
One of the more fascinating of Chiapas traditions is the celebration of Carnival that takes place in the neighboring Tzotzil Maya village of San Juan Chamula. Carnival in San Juan Chamula coincides with important dates from the ancient Mayan calendar. The week of festivities includes purification rituals unique to the village, such as running barefoot over burning branches.
Photographing festivals and religious rituals in San Juan Chamula and other indigenous villages in the areas surrounding San Cristobal is generally not permitted.