8 julio, 2024

The 5 Most Popular Guadalajara Traditions

The city of Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, in turn it is also the second most populous city in the country, after Mexico City. It is characterized for being of vast culture and diversity and even for adopting the customs of the surrounding cities, adding an autochthonous and different touch.

Currently, Guadalajara is experiencing one of the largest and most solid cultural movements in all of America, being a point of reference for culture worldwide.

In Guadalajara, the most varied manifestations related to culture meet, such as: mariachis, tequila, dance, theater, cinema, charrería and even technology applied to customs.

Outstanding traditions of Guadalajara

1- Anniversary of Guadalajara

The city was founded on February 14, 1542, in the Atemajac Valley. Guadalajara, also known as the «Pearl Tapatía», celebrates its birthday with a large and colorful fair.

In it, its residents and visitors celebrate in public places for at least four days. This festival has music and dance as protagonists, plus they are complemented by fair-type exhibitions, religious and civic activities in which a large part of the population participates.

In recent years, technology has accompanied this celebration, taking over public spaces to carry out interactive activities and teach attendees more about the culture of the city and the country.

2- May Cultural Festival

Event created in 1998 with the joint participation of the public and private sectors. This festivity seeks to stimulate recreation, leisure and culture, presenting the different artistic expressions that come together both in the city and throughout Jalisco. Even invited countries participate.

The Cultural Festival of May offers artistic and musical activities of various genres, as well as conferences, exhibitions, workshops and gastronomy.

It takes place throughout the month in various settings. The squares, forums, theaters and headquarters of governmental and private institutions are the main hosts of the various shows.

3- International Meeting of Mariachi and Charrería

It begins on the last Friday of August and runs through the first Sunday of September each year. It is a cultural fair that was born in 1994 and focuses on musical and sports activities.

It is the most picturesque and remarkable event of the whole year, since it manifests the most internationally recognized part of Mexican culture.


It is a musical genre typical of Jalisco, Mexico. But in turn, that name is also given to the orchestra that plays it and to each of the musicians that make it up.

The Charreria

On the other hand, the Charrería is a series of skills that a charro possesses to ride his horse with grace, elegance, harmony and skill. At present it is recognized as the only regulated and duly regulated national sport.

Charro is the name by which the Mexican rider is known, who differs from other riders for his very particular clothing.

Both the Charrería and the Mariachi were named by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In the 10 days of this event organized by the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce, different presentations are made in public squares of the city so that residents and visitors can enjoy mariachis and charrería at no cost.

The performance of Las Galas del Mariachi at the Degollado Theater stands out, where the best Mariachis from the entire world, the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra and some of the most famous Mexican artists of the moment come together.

4- The Procession of the Virgin of Zapopan

On May 20 and for almost 5 months, the image of the Virgin of Zapopan, also known as «La Generala», tours the city.

It is pulled in a carriage by people from the community, going from the Basilica of Zapopan to the Cathedral of Guadalajara, visiting approximately 200 parishes.

Finally, it is October 12 when the popular “Llevada de la Virgen” or “Pilgrimage of the Virgin” is celebrated.

In a journey of 8 kilometers, it returns from the Cathedral of Guadalajara to the Basilica of Zapopan, carried by millions of pilgrims, amid prayers, flowers, music and dances to venerate it.

With a predominantly Catholic population, this festival is the largest and most important religious tradition in Jalisco, and the third most important in all of Mexico.

5- October Festival

Started in 1965, it is today one of the largest and most anticipated parties in Mexico.

Throughout the month a wide variety of recreational and cultural activities are held, among which palenques, cockfights, livestock exhibition, sale of handicrafts, sporting events, music and dances stand out.

Galleries, exhibition halls, theaters and squares are set up to celebrate this festival. It opens with an inaugural parade of colorful floats and the election of the queen.

Then they start exhibitions of the different municipalities of Jalisco where they talk about everything from public works to history.


Cantú, N., & Nájera-Ramirez, O. (2002). Chicana Traditions Continuity and Changes. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Herrera-Sobek, M. (2012). Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions. California and Denver: ABC-CLIO.
Kathleen, MS (1993). Charrer’a Mexicana: An Equestrian Folk Tradition. Arizona: The university of arizona press.
Sigaut, N. (2009). Spaces and Heritage. Spain: Edit.um.

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