Like Paris, Yucatán is a party! Su costumbres y tradiciones destacan por su arte, humor, valores y profundo respeto a las creencias de los antepasados…
Holidays that make the life in merida in a fiction.
The customs and traditions of Yucatán stand out for their various religious celebrations and interesting indigenous festivities.
Yucatán is a distinctive and emblematic region due to the synchrony between the Mayan culture with the European culture.
The Yucatecan population enjoys a large number of centuries-old traditions that have been transmitted from generation to generation and are related to daily life.
The culture of Yucatán is rich and diverse. Its towns are the cradle of customs and varied festivities, some more pompous and others more harmonious or exotic.
If we take into account the dances, meals, festivities, celebrations, music and typical clothing, Yucatán is one of the most culturally rich tourist destinations in the region.
Among the main customs and traditions of Yucatan is the Jarana, which is the typical dance of the state.
This musical style is characterized by its upbeat music, which combines European rhythms with indigenous sounds.
La Jarana is one of the most important Yucatan customs. During the dance, an element to highlight are the colorful costumes: huipiles and suits that, without a doubt, are a source of pride for the Yucatecans.
Vaquería: the Yucatecan rodeo
Another of the traditions of Yucatán are the vaquerías. Popular in Mexico, they include dance acts, music, traditional food and of course: horse shows and even bullfights.
También, como parte de las costumbres de Yucatán, durante estas jornadas que escuchan las famosas “bombas”, poemas graciosos, que incluyen algunas palabras mayas y se inspiran en la idiosincrasia yucateca.
Yucatecan music and song
Land of famous composers, the Yucatecan song shone in the last century.
Of important European and Cuban influence, genres such as bolero, guaracha and bambuco, with Colombian roots, stand out.
Some notable composers are Antonio Hoil, Armando Manzanero, Cirilo Baqueiro and Sergio Esquivel
Listening to Yucatecan trova and doing it in the Plaza Grande, in Mérida, is another of the traditions and customs of Yucatán.
The roots of this music are found in Yucatán, Cuba and Colombia. They are mostly ballads accompanied by guitar, usually sung by male voices, and are romantic in nature.
Trova groups are made up of three or four musicians and you will see them at night, if you visit Plaza Grande.
Go shine your shoes with the Shoeshine are other of the Yucatan customs.
This Yucatecan habit of shining shoes is very old It dates back to the 1930s and 1940s, when men reportedly wanted shiny dance shoes to attract dance partners to parties.
Currently, the trade of the shoeshine it still survives and you can find several people offering that service in the Plaza Grande and other parks, including Los Portales, Parque Hidalgo and Parque de la Madre. Also some in Paso de Montejo.
Did you know? Some historical figures, singers and even presidents, started out as shoeshiners or also known as shoeshiners.
If you have not tried it, it is a good way to relax, read the newspaper, or listen to some of their wonderful stories, well These shoe-shining men are encyclopedic urban storytellers and they know all the stories of the city.
Yucatan traditional costumes
Regional costumes are another of the Yucatan customs.
Colorful and showy they complement not only the dances and the festivities, but are also part of the daily life of the Yucatecans.
Two examples are the huipil and the guayabera.
Over time, the typical costumes of Yucatan they have undergone modifications and additions.
However, they continue to maintain the ancient heritage of the Mayan culture, the Spanish and Caribbean influence.
Within the Yucatan traditions the huipil is the most emblematic. Its origin dates back to pre-Hispanic times.
It is common among indigenous mexican women and are distinguished by their simple and practical design.
The huipiles are made by themselves and have fabulous embroidery. They can be short or long, with geometric embroidery, inspired by animals or with flowers.
Women not only wear the huipil, on the occasion of some important celebration or meeting: they are part of everyday life.
Between the men, the guayabera is the most popular garment. The guayabera is the quintessential garment used in tropical climates.
It is a symbol of elegance. He arrived in the region at the beginning of the 20th century and is of Cuban origin.
The distinction of Yucatecan food
Mosaic of flavors and aromas, within the customs of Yucatan we must not forget the prestigious Yucatecan gastronomy.
There are a variety of regional dishes that are distinguished by their tasty ingredients from the land of Yucatan, such as red onion, achiote, habanero pepper, pepita or epazote among many others.
Their traditional drinks and desserts also stand out, mostly made with fruits from the region.
The most important indigenous festivals
The Mayan heritage is one of the hallmarks of Yucatan.
There are dozens of Yucatan festivities and customs handed down by the Mayan culture.
Each town has its own celebrations and festivities.
One of the most famous is the Hanal Pixán. During that day of veneration for the dead, candles and resins are lit and tasty banquets are offered in their memory.
Another Yucatan custom is the festival of spring equinox. It is celebrated from March 19-21 each year at the foot of the Kukulcán pyramid.
The autumn equinox, that takes place of September 20-22, in Chichén Itzá.
Colors of nature
Made from the leaves, roots and bark of the trees of the region, the dyes are a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation among the indigenous peoples of Mexico.
In many Mayan populations this custom still survives.
Trees are used such as Tzalam, from which a pale red is obtained, Sabacché, which is distinguished by its intense golden yellow, Tamay, characteristic for its orange, and Cho'O, which is used to produce blue.
The customs in Yucatan are colorful, like their crafts and dyes.
Religious festivities are one of the most famous Yucatan beliefs.
In different cities, celebrations are held throughout the year in honor of the patron saints of each locality.
Mostly, these celebrations typically last up to seven days.
The patron saint of Yucatan is the Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
So every December 8, Mama Linda is celebrated, as she is commonly known among the faithful.
These preparations take several weeks in advance and begin at the end of November. Among the celebrations, the masses and the traditional serenade stand out.
Another highly revered religious figure among the Yucatecans is the image of San Antonio de Padua.
In June, which is when the Saint of Padua is celebrated, people usually go to mass and attend processions.
Christmas is coming, the Ramada is coming
In December the streets of the capital and the Yucatecan towns begin to transmit the Christmas spirit.
At this time it is very common to see children walking through the streets with a tree branch in hand, an image of the Virgin Mary and a box to store money.
Between December 1 and 11, it is very common for you to find them, accompanied by parents and friends, asking for money to start their own inn.
The funny thing is that as they move through the streets they sing Christmas songs.
It is one of the most anticipated customs of Yucatan. It is done from the December 12th, with the celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe, on January 6, which is the day of the Kings.
Guadalupe Reyes Day is a time when the family is spent eating the rosca de reyes.
A color fact: the Easter thread has a plastic doll of the baby Jesus inside.
When the portions are cut, whoever gets the figure, must bring the tamales to eat on February 2, Candlemas day.
The whole year is carnival
And if it comes to customs and traditions in Yucatan, the Mérida Carnival, without a doubt, has a preferential place. It is not Rio, nor is New Orleans Mérida and here the Carnival has its own stamp.
The celebrations begin the weekend before Lent, which is linked to Easter.
It is carried out in a property destined for that purpose in Xmatkuil, a town a few kilometers from Mérida.
However, some of the celebrations take place downtown, such as the children's parades.
There are also float parades, with artistic figures, Kings and Kings contests and artistic shows among many other activities.
Easter: Masses, pilgrimages and Lent
Another Yucatan and Mexican custom is to celebrate Lent or Easter.
During Yucatecans tend to attend mass on Easter days and continue Lent avoiding eating meat.
Also, from the Palm Sunday to Good Friday or Resurrection Sunday there are always various festivities. From a simple procession to the recreation of the Crucifixion.
During Lent, one of the Yucatan customs is to get together as a family and taste typical dishes based on fish or the traditional Brazo de Reina, which is a variety of tamale.
More traditions and customs of Yucatán
Use Maya words when speaking in spanish
Very common in many parts of Yucatan, the combination of words from Mayan and Spanish are used simultaneously.
This is one of the many examples of the synchronicity of cultures.
Habañero pepper, To bites!
The habanero pepper is one of the spiciest. However, for the Yucatecans that is not a problem. Bitten, it tastes better! and in the food and customs of Yucatan they are very important.
beer, salt, lemon, Clamato and ice!
In Yucatán, drinking beer is like drinking water and if the chela has an extra ingredient, much better!
Barefoot let's go, barefoot we walk
If you are Yucatecan and you are at home, surely you are barefoot. And is not for less.
Due to the heat, it is customary to wear as little clothing as possible and starting with the feet is a very good start.
To sleep: hammocks
This is one of the most popular Yucatan customs. In case you didn't know: if you're in Yucatán, you don't need a bed to sleep.
Well, it is the kingdom of the hammock. Comfortable, cool and very practical, they can also be addictive.
Regional theater to cry with laughter
It includes words in Mayan and very regional concepts, that's why it is unique.
A Yucatecan joke is insurmountable.
Snacks, varied, generous and free with a chela. Food and chela are an irreplaceable combo.
Take a tour of the bars and cantinas of Yucatán and you will see it with every beer and ¡Bomba! Health!
As you can see, the traditions and customs of Yucatan are numerous.
There are religious, festive or based on ancestral beliefs. They can be shared with family or friends or accompanied by music, dance, food, aromas and a lot of color. What other tradition or custom of Yucatan do you know?
You know Merida on Sunday?