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Cozumel Island Events Calendar
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January
  • New Year's Day (January 1)
    National Holiday

  • Three Kings Day (January 6)
    Christmas continues on through Epiphany, which is called Dia de Los Reyes or Three Kings Day and in the eyes of Mexico's children is far more important than December 25. On the eve of Kings Day, little ones leave their shoes out in the hopes that they will awake to find them filled with toys and other treasures, just as the "magi" came bearing gifts for the newborn infant so long ago.

    Children and adults alike gather on January 6 to partake of a traditional treat called Rosca de Reyes or kings' bread which is a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with "jewels" of candied fruit. Tiny plastic dolls representing baby Jesus are hidden in the dough before baking and custom dictates that whoever gets a piece of bread containing a plastic doll is obligated to host another party for everyone on Candlemas or Candelaria (February 2) which commemorates the presentation of Jesus the light of the world, in the temple of Jerusalem.





    Finding the doll inside means u host a party Feb 2
February
March
  • Benito Juarez's Birthday (March 21)
    National Holiday honoring president and leader of the 19th-Century Reform movement.
    Banks and government offices will be closed.

  • Late March (Spring Equinox)


    Visitors go to the main temple at Chichen Itza to see the descent of the serpent Kukulkan. History has it that the Maya constructed the temple in a way that during equinox a beam of sunlight creates a shadow moving down towards earth resembling a slithering snake. This annual occurrence is supposed to bring out a good Spring harvest.


  • Tours to Chichen Itza


April
May



June
  • Cozumel Annual Marine Turtle Nesting/Hatching/Monitoring Season Continues
    (Late May - November 15)
    eeeewwww that water is cold!!!


    Read More & Sign Up to Participate!









  • Annual Whaleshark Migration Season Begins
    (June 1 - September 15)
    Whale Shark


    During June, July, August and part of September Cozumel visitors can participate in this once in a life time experience of swimming/snorkeling up close with whale sharks. Simply fill out the online booking form here for a guided tour Take Me to Snorkel with Whale Sharks!






July
  • Municipal Elections First Sunday every 3 years, effective July 2010 foward
    Cozumel's local Presidente (equivalent to the City Mayor) is elected this day and serves for 3 years.

  • State Elections First Sunday every 6 years, July 2010 was last
    Quintana Roo State officials, including the Governor are elected this day.
    The Governor serves for 6 years.

  • Federal Elections First Sunday every 6 years, July 2012 was last
    Mexico's President and many Federal officials in Congress are elected this day.
    The President serves for 6 years.

  • Cozumel Annual Marine Turtle Nesting/Hatching/Monitoring Season Continues
    (Late May - November 15)
    Read More & Sign Up to Participate!


  • Annual Whaleshark Migration Season Continues
    (June 1 - September 15)
    Simply fill out the online booking form here for a guided tour Take Me to Snorkel with Whale Sharks!
August
September
  • Annual Whaleshark Migration Season Closes
    (Late May - September 15)
    Take Me to Snorkel with Whale Sharks!


  • Mexico's Independance Day (September 16)
    Viva Mexico! Mexico celebrates its independance from Spain in 1821. This national celebration is observed here in Cozumel with a grand fireworks display in front of the Municipal Building on Raphael Melgar. There will be countless types of local cuisine in the nearby food court as well as games and rides for the kids.

    In the early nineteenth century, Mexico began talking about a revolt against Spain and a priest by the name of Miguel Hidalgo from Delores was a leader of one of the rallying groups. Hidalgo and his officers were planning a revolt for late fall of 1910.

    The Spaniards found out about the revolt and their government retaliated by ordering the arrest of Hidalgo and his officers. Hidalgo in turn called a meeting at his church on the evening of September 15, ringing the church bell to call his parishioners to mass. He then rallied the congregation to fight, giving a speech known as the "Grito de Delores" or the "Cry of Delores," and the crowd responded with bursts of "Viva Mexico!" and Viva La Independencia!" These famous words are still remembered and are said each year as towns and cities across Mexico celebrate independence day.

    Everyone fought together, including the Criollos (wealthy Mexicans of Spanish descent), Mestizos (children born from the marriage of a Spaniard and an Indian) and Indians. Armed with clubs, knives, stone slings, and ancient guns, they fought as they marched to Mexico City. A battle took place in Guanajuato between the Spanish soldiers and Hidalgo's followers. The army sacked the town, killing the Spaniard soldiers. They continued to fight on their way to the capital. When they finally reached Mexico City, the army hesitated before going in to fight and some of them even deserted the army. Before the year was over, Father Hidalgo was captured and executed. Some continued to fight for the cause and Father Hidalgo's Grito de Delores became the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence. The people fought for eleven years before they finally won their freedom.

    In modern-day Mexico, Independence Day is a major celebration and is given far more historical importance than Cinco de Mayo. The party begins on September 15, the eve of independence day, when crowds gather in zocalos and plazas all across Mexico. The villages are decorated with red, white and green flags and colorful flowers, and music fills the air. But when the clock begins to strike eleven at night, silence falls over the citizens and the town mayor steps forward to ring the symbolic liberty bell and give the "Grito de Delores" as the crowd responds with "Viva Mexico!"

    The actual day of September 16 is similar to July Fourth in the United States, featuring rodeos, parades, bullfights, dances and grand feasts.

  • Autumnal Equinox (Late September)

    Visitors go to the main temple at Chichen Itza to see the descent of the serpent Kukulkan. History has it that the Maya constructed the temple in a way that during equinox a beam of sunlight creates a shadow moving down towards earth resembling a slithering snake. This annual occurrence is supposed to bring out a good Fall harvest.


  • Tours to Chichen Itza




  • Cozumel IRONMAN 70.3 Race (Late September /Early October ) September 22, 2013 Visit www.ironman703cozumel.com for details!


    The IRONMAN 70.3 race in Cozumel continues to gain in popularity on the competition circuit. For more information visit the official Ironman 70.3 Cozumel Website and remember to reserve accommodations early as this event is bringing thousands of visitors to the island each year now. IslaMar Villas Welcomes IRONMAN visitors!

  • Feast of San Miguel (September 29)
    Feast of San Miguel, patron saint of the island.


  • Cozumel Annual Marine Turtle Nesting/Hatching/Monitoring Season Continues
    (Late May - November 15)
    Read More & Sign Up to Participate!
October
  • Cozumel Annual Marine Turtle Hatching/Monitoring Season Continues
    (Late May - November 15)
    Read More & Sign Up to Participate!

  • Cozumel Fall Culture Week
    (October 19 - 27, 2013)

    The year 2013 marks the inaugural year of Cozumel's Fall Cultural Week which is scheduled to be held annually in mid-October. A celebration of the changing of the seasons with events and activities designed to help everyone in the community appreciate and make their own personal connections with Mother Earth. The festival features performances of dancers, bands and choirs and continues work on a collective mural honoring Mother Earth. There are organic markets for buying, selling and bartering plants, vegetables as well as workshops on organic gardening. Throughout the week there are films from various International Film Festivals as well as a short film competition. A great way to start the Fall Season!
    View the 2013 Calendar of Activities!


November
  • Dia de Los Muertos - Day of the Dead (November 2)
    More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing for at least 3,000 years and one that the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate. That ritual is known today as Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead and is celebrated throughout Mexico and even in some parts of the United States. Today people don wooden skull masks called "cacaos" and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls are also placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. A relative or a friend may munch on sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead.

    We can trace these modern traditions back to the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations, which kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth, as well as to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs believed came back to visit during the month-long rites. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.

    The Spanish conquerors considered these customs to be sacrilegious and perceived the indigenous people to be barbaric and pagan. But like the old Aztec spirits, the ritual refused to die. To make the custom more Christian, the Spaniards moved the dates so that it coincided with the All Saint's Day and All Soul's day which their predominately Catholic country celebrated on November 1 and November 2, which is when it is celebrated today. Originally it fell on the ninth month of the Aztec solar calendar, which is approximately the beginning of August, and was celebrated for the entire month. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl. This goddess, know as "Lady of the Dead," was believed to have died at birth. Now some 3,000 years later, families in Mexico and even some parts of the United States erect altars in their homes, dedicating them to their dead. They surround the site with special flowers, foods, photos, lighted candles and sometimes glasses of holy water from the neighborhood Catholic Church.

    Local residents as well as tourists can experience this ancient tradition firsthand by visiting the second floor of the Cozumel Museum during the month of October, or attending a special viewing of children's altars typically set up in the Palacio Building near the end of October.

  • Cozumel Annual Marine Turtle Nesting/Hatching/Monitoring Season Closes
    (Late May - November 15)
    Read More & Sign Up to Participate NEXT YEAR!


  • Cozumel IRONMAN Race (Late November /Early December ) December 1, 2013 Running Since 2010!


    Initiated in 2010, the IRONMAN race in Cozumel has quickly become popular on the competition circuit and for now is ranked as the 5th most popular IRONMAN race worldwide. For more information visit the official website and remember to reserve accommodations early as this event is bringing thousands of visitors to the island each year now. IslaMar Villas Welcomes IRONMAN visitors!

  • Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution (November 20)
    Celebration of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 with parades, speeches and ceremonies.
December
  • Novenas de Guadelupe - Tributes to the Virgin of Guadalupe (December 1 - 12)

  • Festival de Dia de Guadelupe - The Virgin of Guadalupe (December 12)
    December 12 is arguably the most important day of the year for millions of Catholics across Mexico as they honor a figure that is considered to be the centerpiece of the Catholic faith in their country.

    According to tradition, the Virgin first appeared to a peasant by the name of Juan Diego in a rural area not far from what is now Mexico City. The story says that she identified herself as the "mother of God" and told Diego to ask the archbishop of Mexico to build a shrine on that very hillside from which she would preside over those "who love me and trust in me."

    Some who question the legend believe that it is more than coincidence that this particular spot was also the place where the hard-to-convert Aztecs worshipped Tonantzin, the mother of all gods. In any event, the Indians of Mexico responded enthusiastically to the arrival of the brown-skinned goddess who spoke their language and they were content to have found a replacement for objects of worship that had been taken away by the Spaniards.

    Over hundreds of years, the Virgin of Guadalupe has evolved into much more than a symbol of the Catholic Church. It is the icon that led the country's revolution and gave birth to Mexico's independence, becoming a symbol of national pride and strength.

    Veneration of the Virgin came to Cozumel via the Yucatecans who were introduced to a similar image known as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception by the Franciscan order of the Catholic church in the state of Yucatan. Ceremonies honoring the Virgin were cleverly designed to complement the pagan rituals that were part of Yucatecan culture at that time.

    Today Cozumelenos worship through in-home services and novenas consisting of traditional songs and recitation of the rosary, beginning December 1 and continuing through December 12. During this period the ever-present statues and shrines built as integral parts of most Cozumel homes are decorated with flowers, lights and candles. On these twelve days many followers organize street processions where participants dressed in white are often accompanied by sound systems so that neighbors and bystanders can join them in song and prayer.

    On the eve of the feast day, thousands gather at Cozumel's Virgin of Guadalupe church for prayers and blessings before beginning a pilgrimage that will last far into the night, taking them to the east side of the island, then to the southern tip and back again to San Miguel and Corpus Christi church. The majority of the participants are organized groups consisting of families, service clubs, unions and company employees. While the route is generally covered on foot in a relay fashion, others make the journey in decorated cars or trucks as well as the occasional bicycle.

    While the main purpose of the pilgrimage is to honor the mother of God, in most cases the passage also serves as an opportunity to formally offer promises and petitions to the Virgin of Guadalupe for the coming year.

  • Cozumel Scuba Fest (December 12 - 15, 2013)
    Initiated in 2012, ScubaFest is an annual invitation to scuba divers worldwide to visit Cozumel to honor celebrate the sport of scuba diving. Special diving events are held along with marine life seminars and the Photo Shoot Out Contest for underwater photographers. In addition the "Taste of Cozumel" food event will be going on as well as other events each year. The 2013 event will feature ocean dives lead by Jean Michelle Cousteau. Visit our Cozumel Scuba Fest 2013 Information Page for more information about the event and the activities held each year.

  • Las Posadas - Christmas (December 16)
    Christmas festivities begin December 16 with Las Posadas (The Inns) and continue for 9 days symbolizing not only the 9 months that Mary carried the baby Jesus in her womb but also the 9 days of the long journey taken by the carpenter Joeseph and his wife Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

    In colonias throughout Mexico and in Cozumel, neighbors, families and church groups gather to reenact the journey of the holy family as they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem seeking shelter on the eve of the savior's birth. The modern-day parade of pilgrims walk as travelers did to the rhythm of hymns and stop at designated houses to sing their requests for shelter while those waiting behind the closed door of the house (Inn) respond with a musical refrain, telling the travelers they have no room. Finally after visiting several homes, the pilgrim travellers will reach a host home (Inn) where there is room and the group will go inside, pray, sing songs and share a meal.

    The tradition of Las Posadas has a long history with its origins dating back to masses that were conducted inside the Augustinian convents back in Colonial times. In 1587, Fray Diego de Soria, a member of the Augustinian community in the Acolman convent (now in Mexico state), received permission from Pope Sixtus V for Aguinaldo Masses that were to be held during the 9 days before Christmas each year (December 16 - 24). These dates also coincided with an annual feast conducted by the indigenous Hispanics for the birth of Huitzilopochtli. And with the Pope's approval for this celebration during these days, the Catholics were able to begin to Christianize this ancient local celebration Huitzilopochtli's birth.

    Most likely the La Posada "events" or ritual if you will, of today evolved through the teaching methods employed by the Catholic conquistadors and their clergy. Because the Spaniards didn't speak the local language, they created plays that would convey the story of the birth of Jesus to the so called "pagan" natives. Over the years, these plays evolved into oratories conducted in the large ranch haciendas for friends and workers. As those ranchers and workers migrated to more urban areas and took the tradition with them, La Posada evolved into is current form in the early 19th century. Over time, people have responded enthusiastically to this form of theater and along the way added their own cultural touches including traditional food dishes and the ruthless smashing of piñatas.

    The traditional star piñata with 7 points that is used this time of year represents the 7 deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony while the stick used to break the piñata represents virtue. The blindfolding represents a person struggling in blind faith to avoid the 7 deadly sins. Breaking the piñata symbolizes breaking free of the hold of the deadly sins and being able to enjoy the fruits of heaven as they fall like the candies and fruits fall from the piñata to enjoy.

  • La Rama (December 16)
    As with most customs in Mexico, La Rama was born out of Indian ritual and in this case is an extension of an Aztec ceremony commemorating the rebirth of nature. The tradition of singing La Rama (the branch) is believed to have started in the state of Vera Cruz, eventually making it's way to the Yucatan and then Cozumel.

    Officially starting December 16, it generally involves self-organized groups of children who decorate a branch from a tree or plant and then go from door to door shouting "cantamos la rama?" (can we sing the branch?). Carrying homemade lanterns and accompanied by a rhythm section of kitchen utensils or drums of some sort, the groups launch into a very lengthy song with an ever-changing melody, always including some verses that ask the audience to give them their aguinaldo (a sort of Christmas bonus) if they are pleased with the performance.

    The same group of children may take to the streets night after night until just before Christmas eve, generally entrusting their winnings to one of the children's mothers, at which time the merry band will use their stash to buy piñatas and treats for their very own Christmas party.



  • Holy Christmas (December 24 & 25)
    Midnight mass on Christmas Eve (24th) begins this holy celebration for most traditional families throughout Mexico. Even if not familiar with Spanish or Catholic mass services, it is still an emotional ceremony to respectfully observe as choir boys file down the church isles and nuns dressed in their holiday habits sing familiar holiday songs like Oh Come All Ye Faithful and Silent Night (or Noche de Paz). As part of the mass ceremony usually everyone is invited to file to the front of the church and welcome baby Jesus who is portrayed by a doll in a manger scene or held in the loving arms of his Mother.

    Once the midnight mass is over, families will then begin their Christmas fiestas which typically last all night long. Everyone works for days in advance preparing food for the huge feast so once it begins the focus can be on relaxing with family and friends during this holy time of year. Cozumelenos are like Mexicans throughout the country and are famous being very "mobile" on this night. Families will pile into cars at 2, 3, 4am and go visit other families in their homes to wish them "Feliz Navidad!" So it is not uncommon for street traffic to be very busy all night long and into day break of Christmas Day (25th). This is why most businesses are closed on Christmas Day throughout Mexico.

    Since his mass commercialization,Santa Claus does have a presence in Christmases of Mexico and gifts are exchanged but typically only 1 gift per person. Mexican tradition for the children is that the 3 Kings bring gifts with them on their day each year. So Three Kings Day (January 6th) is typically when the majority of gift giving is done for the children.


    Due to the convergence of 3 important religous observations, Mexico is essentially shut down from December 12 until after January 6th each year from a governmental standpoint. Administrative offices at all levels, Federal, State and Municipal simply close for almost a month so don't plan on accomplishing much at the end of the year if it involves government personnel.
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