Holidays in Mexico

There are several dates that are considered important in our country (either for historical reasons or as a result of marketing campaigns) and on many occasions the anniversaries of these events are celebrated with labor breaks in business and in schools. Since 2009 a public policy was implemented mandating that many of these dates should be observed even on weekends, so some of them have had their dates changed for the following Monday. Based on this legislation, holidays are not observed on fixed days year after year.

These holidays must be covered by the Federal Labor Law in order to be valid either as labor stops, or for double-payment. In the past, it was customary that if the holiday was in the middle of the calendar week, then a "bridge" was made reaching until next Monday. For example, if an anniversary was to be celebrated on Thursday, the work and school break lasted until Monday. This resulted in many people having the idea that Mexicans are always looking for excuses to justify their laziness. Economic crisis and other factors related to productivity have caused the gradual decline of the number of those "bridges".

The working calendar of the Federal Labor Act of 2011 has marked the following days as holidays and rest periods:

· Saturday, January 1st: New Year (not a long weekend).

· Thursday, January 6th: The Magi Day.

· Monday, February 7th: Constitution Day (moved because the original date is February 5: the first long weekend).

· Thursday, February 24th: Flag Day.

· Monday, March 21st: Don Benito Juárez was born.

· Thursday, April 21st until the 24th: Easter.

· Sunday, May 1st: Labor Day.

· Tuesday, May 10th: Mother's Day.

· Friday, September 16th: Mexico’s Independence Day.

· Wednesday, November 2nd: Day of the Dead or All Hollow’s Eve.

· Monday, November 21st: Mexican Revolution Day (moved because the original date is the 20th: another long weekend).

· Monday, December 12th: Virgin of Guadalupe.

· Sunday, December 25th: Christmas.

It should be noted that in some places there are local festivals of great importance that are considered mandatory. Such is the case of Oaxaca and the popular celebration of the Guelaguetza, which requires the community to rest the so-called "Monday of the Hill" (third and fourth Mondays in July).

Holidays are usually abused by the companies and / or employers in order to combine work breaks with the holidays, although this practice is wrong. It is advisable to also review the vacation days set by the Ministry of Education since many travel and transportation agencies offer special prices those days. The SEP program for the school-year includes three holiday periods:

· Holy Week and Easter: April 16th to May 1st , 2011

· Summer vacation: from July 9th to August 21st, 2011

· End of 2011: from December 21st to January 8th , 2012

Finally, I recommend considering the festivities not as an opportunity to waste your time, but as a fun way to spend quality time with your friends and family!

Article produced by the Editorial Team of "Explorando Mexico".
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