Dia de los Muertos in Queretaro

Looking for a destination in Mexico that delivers the traditions of Dia de los Muertos? I found it in Queretaro State thanks to Hotel Mision’s unique haciendas in off-the-beaten path places.

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Cemetary in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro

In 2012, Eddy and I decided to head to Queretaro for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) weekend–which just happens to be our anniversary weekend as well. Combining both the holiday and our anniversary, this is undoubtedly favorite week of the entire year. The two years prior to this would be hard to beat as we spent them in some of the most traditional cities for Dia de los Muertos (Oaxaca and Mixquic) but  I was convinced Queretaro would be great as well. Thanks to our friends at Hoteles Mision, we were able to enjoy the long weekend in a couple of their properties, touristing around the state. The weekend called for romance, culture, and lots of cempasuchils!

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Huamantlada, My Favorite (Really) Mexican Festival

It’s here! It’s here! August is my most favorite month of the year! Why? I travel to Tlaxcala for La Humantlada and running of the bulls!

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Parade in Huamantla, Tlaxcala

Last year (2012) was the first time I visited Tlaxcala’s tiny Magic Town called Huamantla during  their biggest fair, La Feria – Humantlada. The fair, mostly known for the weekend in which they have a running of the bulls, is actually a month long celebration dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There are two huge events held during this period attracting over 300,000 visitors.

The first main event is La Noche Que Nadie Durme when the townspeople create crazy-beautiful art in the street with sand and sawdust called tapetes (rugs). This tradition is the most emblematic of Huamantla. It always starts on August 14 when the majority of the streets are closed in anticipation for the  bulls. With the streets closed,  the community is able to start the creation of their sawdust tapetes that covers about 6.5 kms. They all must finish by midnight because that is when the party and pilgrimage of Virgin de la Asuncion begins (better known to the Huamntlecos as Virgen de la Caridad).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to witness this event since it took place during the week.. but eventually it will fall on the weekend, and I am super excited to see it.

The second main event is the actual bull run, called Huamantlada, and a tradition that has been going on for over 50 years! It takes place the Saturday following La Noche Que Nadie Duerme. The main streets of the town are barricaded off (called burladeros) and are filled with locals and visitors pumped with adrenaline (and tequila!) to confront the bulls. La Huamantlada isn’t just a running of the bulls, it has a full program around it; charreadas, parade of matadors burladeros, classic car racing, a traditional carnival (rides andgreasyfood!), art exhibitons, musical performances and more will keep you busy during La Humantlada.

My boyfriend Eddy had been going to the fair for years and was excited to include me along in his tradition. He pretty much explained it to me as a super-Mexican version of Spain’s running with the bulls and the only bull running that still exists in Mexico today. I had no idea what to expect.

Okay, I lied, I had tequila and banda music and Mexicans all over the place in my mind, and surprise, surprise, when we got there, my stereotypical vision was actually true; a sea of Mexicans, leather boots, tequila, pinatas, cuaguamas (40 oz beers) filled the streets! The most Mexican of it all was the burladeros, the seating and wood-fencing that lined the streets to “protect” people from the bulls. It was set-up in the most creative and most Mexican ways you can imagine — not coming close to any safety standards or codes– I loved it. We wandered around  and tried to find some bleachers where we could watch the releasing of the bulls from above. It’s tough- I sincerely recommend securing a spot for yourself early as it fills up quickly. See the chaos below!

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At 12 noon sharp, the town releases about 20 bulls. The brave are still standing in the streets, waiting for the bulls to make its round so they have a chance to touch them, or slap them, or waving their red capes to test their skills at matador-ing.  Besides the excitement of the bulls that lasts about 5 hours, the parade and charreada are also super fun. The parade, which happens the night before the bulls, is amazing, colorful, and instead of passing out candy, they literally pass out shots of tequila (I LOVE Mexico!).

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I had so much fun at La Feria de Huamantla, that in anticipation for 2013 Humantlada, I  bought my very own leather rodeo boots! Bring it on, toros! This year’s Huamantlada takes place August 17.  For more information on Huamantla, click here. For information about the fair, visit laferiahuamantla.com.

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like….

Season change in Mexico City brings beautiful flowers along Reforma.  It may not be as nice as the natural changing color of the leaves, or that first powdery snow, but it’s something I very much appreciate. A sign of change, a sign of closure and a sign of new beginnings all with simple seasonal flowers.

So in case you don’t know, I am a born and raised Metro-Detroiter. What I love most about Michigan are the four seasons– not so much the long winters, but I appreciate the option it’s there if I fancy it. Moving to Mexico, I knew I’d never have to witness a terrible winter ever again in my life, but to be honest, seeing the same temperatures year-round kind of makes me lose track with, well everything…. it’s really December already? Without being able to tell the cycle of seasons, how will I ever have closure?! [Read more…]

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Altar

Wanting to make a Day of the Dead altar? Check out my first ofrenda and helpful links. If you live in Mexico City, Mercado Sonora is a great place to go for Dia de los Muertos supplies. 


Since I can remember, Halloween has always been my fav holiday. In the past decade or so, Mexico (more cities than others) has adopted and incorporated Halloween into their calendars and picked up on the goulish, scary USAmerican traditions of pumpkins and trick-or-treating  Unfortunately, as the years develop, so does Halloween’s influence on Mexico which has resulted in less emphasis on the folklore of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). So, in order to embrace the true Mexican lifestyle and traditions, I decided to create my first ofrenda and Day of the Dead altar.

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Alebrijes in Mexico City

Giant alebrijes in Mexico City have become a modern and cultural tradition bringing attention to this unique Mexican folk art. Vibrant colors, intricate designs, and imaginative animals line the street on Reforma every October. 

Intricate Neon Alebrije

A big plus to living in a big city is that there is always something going on. Most of my favorite happenings in Mexico City occur on its main road, Paseo de la Reforma. This road can pretty much take you across the whole city and it is where the iconic Angel de la Indepencia is located.   Never is there a dull moment or shortage of pedestrians on Reforma because it is always lined with interesting art and photos, exhibitions, and sculptures that usually revolve around a theme.  I’ve been living in Mexico City for exactly a year now and I have to say, the most impressive by far has been the display of giant alebrijes.

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International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Leon, Guanajuato

Festival Photo - Take from Mileno Newspaper

This year, Leon, Guanajuato held their 10th Annual Festival Internacional Del Globo (International Hot Air Balloon Festival) from November 18-21. Falling on a ‘puente’ aka Mexican holiday weekend, Eddy and I decided to make the trip to Guanajuato to see it for ourselves. The commercials and billboards for this event kept popping up at us everywhere which convinced us it was a sign! Plus, we’ve been meaning to take a trip to Guanajuato and San Miguel Allende anyways, so this was the perfect weekend to do so. [Read more…]

Dia de los Muertos in Mixquic

Wondering the best place to go in Mexico for Dia de los Muertos? A great option is Mixquic in Mexico City. It is an amazing place to witness the traditions and customs that take place on November 1st and 2nd. 

Families decorate the graves of their passed love ones, celebrating their death and welcoming their spirit as they believe their soul will revisit the earth on November 2nd

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition that I find completely fascinating and beautiful. My first encounter with this holiday was in Oaxaca when I was trying to get away from Halloween in my college days 09. When I finally got to witness  the Dia de los Muertos celebration, I was completely captivated by the colors of the flowers and how everyone united to honor their loved ones who had passed.  Now,  I count down the days until this beautiful holiday arrives and  look forward to being able to experience it and appreciate all that it is about. [Read more…]

United Mexico, Their Independence Day Traditions

‘How does Mexico celebrate their Independence Day’ is a question I got the answers to as for the first time, I prepare to celebrate Mexico’s 201st Birthday in-country.  

In Mexico, September is known as “Mes de la Patria” (month of the homeland) and this year they celebrate their 201st anniversary of their independence from the Spanish. Now I know you’re probably asking yourself, “wasn’t Cinco de Mayo their Independence Day? What did I drink all that tequila for?” Well actually, no, 5 de Mayo is not their Independence Day! In fact ironically, Mexico doesn’t even celebrate it much as the USA does… but come September, you will see all of Mexico join together as the country is painted red, white, and green (colors of the Mexican flag). [Read more…]

Semana Santa in Mexico City

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Typically during the Semana Santa, or Easter week, Mexican families flock to the beach from cities like Guadalajara, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, and Mexico City. Semana Santa is undoubtedly the busiest time for beach towns along Mexico’s coast and for someone living in Puerto Vallarta (like me), the best time to escape! So I took the long weekend to travel to Mexico City, a city I have visited many times before, but never quite fully discovered. [Read more…]