What are the most popular festivals in Guadalajara?

Guadalajara is nothing short of a great time to celebrate. The city hosts festivals and big events throughout the year. Some of the most important are these.

What are the most popular festivals in Guadalajara?
Cultural festivities in Guadalajara. Photo by Cesira Alvarado / Unsplash

Guadalajara is synonymous with celebration. The city hosts festivals and big events throughout the year. Some of the most important are these.

Anniversary of the founding of Guadalajara

Every year celebrations are held from 8:30 am to 10:00 pm at the Municipal Presidency, Plaza Guadalajara, Plaza Fundadores and the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres (Roundabout of Illustrious Men). It consists of a series of artistic, civic, and cultural events to commemorate the anniversary of the city, founded on February 14, 1542.

May Cultural Festival

The event is in charge of the Jalisco Secretary of Culture and is celebrated in several municipalities of Jalisco. It includes different manifestations of music, dance, painting, photography, sculpture, theater, cinema, and gastronomy. In 2003, the decision was made to organize the program around a specific country and since then Hungary, Poland, Austria, Spain, Mexico, Germany, and Japan have been some of the guests of honor.

International Mariachi and Charrería Encounter

The festival takes place in late August and early September. In this event, the streets of downtown Guadalajara become the stage for more than 1,000 mariachi musicians from around the world. The inaugural parade has become an icon in the West of Mexico and the best exponents of this genre gather in Guadalajara. As for the National Charro Championship, it brings together the best national teams in a spectacle that presents the suertes charras.

October Festivities

They take place from the first Saturday of October until the first Sunday of November. They are held in the Benito Juárez Auditorium and in different locations in Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá and Tlajomulco. The Fiestas include a great variety of artistic and cultural shows combined with multiple recreational activities.

The event begins with the traditional parade of floats along 16 de Septiembre Avenue and throughout the month there are concerts by nationally and internationally renowned artists, dance exhibitions, workshops, and the famous palenque. You can also find mechanical games, Mexican snacks, exhibitions and sales of handicrafts and industrial products, livestock expo, and sports activities.

Pilgrimage from the Metropolitan Cathedral to the Zapopan Basilica

It is the annual pilgrimage that takes place in the early morning of October 12 from the Guadalajara Cathedral to the Zapopan Basilica. The image is accompanied on its pilgrimage by its devotees and hundreds of dancers with masks and feathers. The event ends with traditional dances and fireworks. From May 20 to October 11 of each year, Our Lady of Zapopan visits the temples located in the municipalities of Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Zapopan, and the town of San Andres.

International Book Fair in Guadalajara

Better known as the FIL, it is the most important editorial meeting in Ibero-America and an extraordinary cultural festival. During the nine days of the Fair, the public can listen to their favorite authors. The city is filled with music, art, film, and theater from the Guest of Honor country or region. It is held every year, starting on the last Saturday of November.

Guadalajara International Film Festival

A cultural event whose objective is the diffusion and promotion of Ibero-American cinema, which has consolidated itself as the most outstanding cinematographic exhibition in Latin America, both for the quality of the films shown and for the international guests who attend.

Jalisco Jazz Festival

The festival has become a summer classic and brings together dozens of important national and international jazz figures in the city. The festival has a wide educational offer where prestigious musicians offer classes and clinics, sharing their experiences with all those interested in the subject. There are outdoor performances and important venues such as the Teatro Degollado.

Tequila Festival

More than 200 brands of tequila participate in the event, which features music, art exhibitions, gastronomy, and tequila tastings.