The Guelaguetza Festival: A Celebration of Oaxacan Culture and Tradition


The Guelaguetza Festival is a vibrant and colorful celebration that takes place in the Mexican state of Oaxaca every July. It is a unique event that showcases the rich and diverse culture of the region. The festival features music, dance, traditional costumes, and food, and it attracts visitors from all over the world.


The Guelaguetza Festival has its origins in pre-Columbian times. The Zapotec and Mixtec peoples who lived in the region held festivals to honor their gods and celebrate the harvest. After the Spanish conquest, these festivals were merged with Catholic traditions, and the Guelaguetza Festival was born.

The Festival Today

The Guelaguetza Festival is a two-day event that takes place on the last Monday and Tuesday of July. The main event is the “Lunes del Cerro” (Monday of the Hill), which takes place on the Cerro del Fortín, a hill overlooking the city of Oaxaca. On this day, delegations from different regions of Oaxaca perform traditional dances and music, and they offer gifts to the Virgin of Guadalupe. The festival also includes a parade of floats, a fireworks display, and a food fair.

The Dances

The dances of the Guelaguetza Festival are a highlight of the event. Each region of Oaxaca has its own unique dance, and the costumes and choreography are exquisite. Some of the most popular dances include the Flor de Piña (Pineapple Flower), the Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feather), and the Jarabe Zapoteca (Zapotec Jarabe).

The Music

The music of the Guelaguetza Festival is also an important part of the event. The music is played on traditional instruments, such as the marimba, the guitar, and the violin. The rhythms are lively and upbeat, and the melodies are often haunting and beautiful.

The Costumes

The costumes worn by the dancers at the Guelaguetza Festival are a feast for the eyes. The costumes are made from brightly colored fabrics, and they are often adorned with intricate embroidery and beadwork. The costumes represent the different regions of Oaxaca, and they tell the story of the people who live there.

The Food

The food of the Guelaguetza Festival is another highlight of the event. The food is traditional Oaxacan cuisine, and it is made with fresh ingredients and local flavors. Some of the most popular dishes include tlayudas (a type of tortilla), mole (a spicy sauce), and tamales (a type of cornmeal dumpling).

The Guelaguetza Festival is a unique and unforgettable event. It is a celebration of Oaxacan culture and tradition, and it is a must-see for anyone who is interested in Mexican culture.