February carnival is celebrated across Mexico by many different communities and many ways. Carnival is colorful, energetic and fun, and is an opportunity to party, eat and drink with friends and family and enjoy this joyous time of year. Introduced when the Spanish arrived, their February carnival coincided with many of the festivals of the indigenous communities of Mexico and the Mesoamerican calendar. Originally celebrated for the start of the Catholic period of Lent, carnival is generally held during the week before Ash Wednesday and celebrations can last for 5-6 days, finishing on Fat Tuesday! Here is our guide to some of the best places in Mexico to celebrate carnival in 2020.
Manzanillo Carnival is held from the 13th to the 16th of February and will be one of the most colorful celebrations in the country. The party will last for the whole weekend and there will be live music concerts featuring both national and international artists, a circus, fireworks each night and a typical coronation of ‘kings’ and ‘queens’. A huge parade will make its way through the center of the town with brightly-colored floats and music. If you’re visiting the port city of Manzanillo during this time, expect big crowds of festival goers and busy beaches!
Once of Mexico’s most famous Carnivals is in Veracruz. This year, the celebrations are the 19th-25th of February and people come from all over the world to celebrate. The central streets are literally transformed into a live music venue bringing many famous artists, more parades, dancing, coronations and so much more. This is the biggest carnival in Mexico and is known for being one of the most joyous in the world.
Another area with many carnivals during February is the Baja California Peninsula. In La Paz one of the oldest carnivals in Mexico takes place and since the early 19th century, parades have floated through the city celebrating music, dance and art from all over Mexico and the rest of the world. In 2020, the festival will take place from February 20th to the 25th and will be called ‘The Feast of the Gods’. Expect days and nights filled with continuous joyous events!
Carnival will also be taking place down in the Yucatan Peninsula, most notably on the island of Cozumel from the 19th to the 26th of February which is now one of the top carnivals in the country. Representative of the culture of Quintana Roo, much of the state’s cultural heritage is present throughout the celebrations. So that no-one misses out, now there is even a pre-carnival event which introduces the Carnival Kings and Queens and includes many events which will continue throughout the week.
Our final recommendation for a Mexican carnival in 2020 is in Guaymas, a town in the state of Sonora. The city known as the Pearl of the Sea of Cortez is an incredible place to celebrate carnival. A principal port in the Gulf of California, this vibrant carnival has been bringing visitors to the area for over 100 years and is a week of seaside fun and music. Enjoy the locally grown talent, soak up the party atmosphere and marvel at the fireworks which light up the sky at night.