Get to know culture and traditions in Chihuahua, Mexico

The following are the most important and traditional festivals, cultures, and customs of Chihuahua.

Get to know culture and traditions in Chihuahua, Mexico
Chihuahua's geography. Photo by Ivan Calderon / Unsplash

The difficult conditions of Chihuahua's geography have shaped the character of its inhabitants, who have forged their tenacity and perseverance in obtaining food and water from the arid soil. Mexican characteristic hospitality and willingness to help make up the profile of the hard-working Chihuahuan.

Thus, in a soil that was not favorable for agriculture, the European colonizers, missionaries, and indigenous people learned to develop techniques to preserve food since the harvest periods were short and scarce. Thus, chacales (dried corn), chile pasado, fruit preserves, dehydrated fruits, dehydrated meat or jerky, and the famous "ranchero cheese" made from goat or beef milk were born. These ingredients acquire a characteristic flavor that differentiates them from the natural ones, adding to the Chihuahua stews a very peculiar seasoning.

However, this did not discourage the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the area known as Paquimé or Casas Grandes from developing a great city with buildings of up to 4 stories beautifully decorated with artistic ceramic objects. In addition to their acquired taste for pottery, researchers discovered large cages of exotic birds with heating and patios for ball games.

As a result, today, Chihuahua society comprises indigenous groups that still conserve their deep-rooted roots and traditions. The state's leading group in number and cultural influence is the Tarahumara. Original inhabitants of these lands retired to live in a portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, today is known as the Sierra Tarahumara. This ethnic group is among the poorest and most marginalized in the state. The sale of sikolís and bitikolís, clay pots and vessels, and textiles and jewelry made of chaquira sustain part of their economy, which they offer at tourist sites in the state.

Another cultural group of significant influence on Chihuahua's economic and cultural life is the Mennonites. At the beginning of the 20th century, obtaining special concessions from the Mexican government office, General Alvaro Obregón, hundreds of Mennonite families from Canada, but originally from Holland, arrived in the community of Santa Clara. Their European origin, unique religion, frugality governing every aspect of their lives, and dedication to community work came with them all to stay. Today, Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, is a flourishing community of Mennonite origin.

A shameful and sad chapter not only in the history of Chihuahua is that of the femicides that occurred in Ciudad Juarez. At the beginning of the 1990s, the U.S. economic boom reached the Mexican border through maquiladora export factories, opening up many Mexicans' opportunities. The women workers of Juarez, however, saw this opportunity turn into tragedy when, beginning in 1993, they became victims of bloody murders and mysterious disappearances that remain unpunished to this day. The significance of this misogynist violence has transcended borders. Human rights activists, artists, and politicians worldwide have joined the clamor of the victims' families, who demand justice for their women, for the now-famous "dead women of Juarez."

In this regard, the famous Latin American writer Carlos Monsiváis has denounced the corruption of the Mexican authorities. The latter made significant changes in the high command of the Juarez authorities—for example, assigning Federal Prosecutor and State Attorney. These women have decided to work together with civil society. The latter is organized in active associations such as "Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa", "Mujeres por Juárez" and "Voces Sin Eco". In 2007, the premiere of the movie "Bordertown" or "City of Silence" was announced, starring Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez, which addresses this tragic reality.

May 15 - Day of San Isidro Labrador

This festival begins with a series of dances executed by two groups. These dances last the whole day and conclude at night with a parade.

May 22 - Santa Rita Festivities Fair

It is celebrated annually on May 22 in honor of the place's patron saint. The fair's facilities have a surface of 300,000 m2, in which industrial, commercial, and exhibit services and products are also the stages of the Matachines dance.

December 12 - Guadalupe de Bravos

Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The entire town is filled with joy since it is the date they commemorate the town's patron saint. In her honor, the city's young people perform traditional Indian dances, which they have practiced since before, putting all their care and dedication into it. In addition, a procession of floats and sacred images. To get to Guadalupe de Bravos, take the route from Ciudad Juarez.

August 6 - Jiménez

Day of the Santo Cristo de Burgos--The people of this site celebrate this day with traditional dances performed by two groups of dancers dressed in very colorful attire; the ceremony concludes with a procession. In addition, a fair is also organized, with exhibitions of typical articles, games, and shows of all kinds. There are two ways to get to Jiménez: Durango or Torreón.

September 8 - Santa Barbara

Day of the Virgen de los Remedios. Through the Dance of the Archers performance, the natives pay homage to the Virgin.

December 4 - Santa Barbara

In honor of the town's patron saint, the Danza de los Arqueros and the Danza Azteca, performed by unique and select groups, stand out.

October 12 - Matachic

A famous religious festival coincides with a colorful renowned fair. Events and live region's music, among which the traditional dances stand out, especially that of the Matachines.


Corrido de Chihuahua. From the Parralense Pedro de Lille. Viva Chihuahua.


In the city, you can find handicrafts from the Sierra Tarahumara, embossed leather goods, artistic blacksmithing, gold and silver filigree gold and silver work, leather boots of magnificent artistry, embroidery, blankets, and wooden masks.