February 25 to April 16, 2022 are festivities celebrating Carnaval Miami, a several-day festival in Miami. Events span multiple days and often multiple blocks, and has drawn up to 1 million people in previous years. It may include cultural events such as fishing or domino tournaments, soccer tournaments, cooking contests, a 10K, the “Miss Carnaval Miami” beauty pageant, domino competitions, and more. It was started 40+ years ago by a group of young Cuban-Americans as a goodwill gesture, as waves of immigrants fled Fidel Castro’s Communist regime to Miami. Money raised on non-free events is reinvested to support the local culture, i.e., student scholarships.
March 31 is Cesar Chavez holiday in California, Arizona and Texas. This holiday, proclaimed by President Obama in 2014, honors the Mexican-American labor and civil rights activist who gained attention in the 1960s as the leader of the United Farm Workers. His non-violent advocacy approach earned him worldwide respect. California, Arizona and Texas have made the day a state holiday, while other states are still considering doing so.
April 30 is El Día de los Niños. This special day, originating in Mexico, celebrates the importance of children. This Latin American tradition is now recognized in the U.S., often as a day to celebrate children, families, and literacy. While Children’s Day is not an official holiday in Mexico (school is in session), it’s generally a day filled with festivities designed to help children feel special.
May 5 is Cinco de Mayo originating from Mexico. It marks the defeat of the French army during the Battle of Puebla (Batalla de Puebla) in Mexico on May 5, 1862, but is actually considered to be relatively minor to native Mexican history, and is really only celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is celebrated to commemorate Mexican culture and heritage, chiefly in cities and towns with large Mexican populations, such as Denver, CO, Portland, OR, and Chicago, IL, and is recognized with parades, food, music, and dancing. (NOTE: Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day, as many Americans believe. Mexican Independence Day is September 16, one of their most important national holidays.)
May 10 is Dia de las Madres (Mothers’ Day), observed on this date in Mexico and other Latin-American countries. The first official Mother’s’ Day celebration in Mexico was held on May 10, 1922.
June 10 to June 12, 2022 (second weekend of June) holds events associated with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, chiefly in New York City, but now recognized in various other U.S. locations. The parade, held on the second Sunday in June, starts on Fifth Avenue on 44th Street and goes up to 86th Street. It continues to have tremendous attendance, now more than ever due to Puerto Rican Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, an influential figure who grew up in the projects in the Bronx. Judge Sotomayor managed to attend Princeton and Yale, going on to become one of the most successful Hispanic women to date in the judicial field in the U.S.
June 19 – 24 is Les Fogueres de Sant Joan (“Bonfires of Saint John”), is a Spanish festival dedicated to fire. It includes events such as the proclamation (The Pregón), the setting up of the bonfires (the Plantà), the procession of the effigies (Cabalgata del Ninot), and parades and processions in different neighborhoods of Alicante in Spain. The main event on the 24th of June is the feast day of Saint John Baptist, when large satirical statues made of cardboard and wood are set alight.
August 15 is Asuncion de la Virgen (the Feast of the Assumption), celebrated by Catholics in Spanish-speaking countries. It celebrates the belief in Mary’s ascending to heaven. This holiday has been celebrated since the 18th century and is also known as the Virgen de la Paloma. Many churches will present a statue of Mary on the altar and then have a procession on the streets that are filled with music, dance and a feast of local delicacies. You may even hear fireworks either in the day or the evening.
September 15–October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship.
September 16 is Mexican Independence Day. The day commemorates Sept. 16, 1810, when Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged Mexicans to rise up against the Spanish-born ruling class.
Oct 12 is Día de la Hispanidad (Spain), or Spanish National Day. This date (“Columbus Day,” U.S.), remembers the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America, a day with complex controversial meanings. Hispanics in the U.S. are split on their political feelings about the holiday. In most Spanish-speaking countries, it is celebrated as Dia de la Raza (Mexico), Día de las Culturas (Costa Rica), to celebrate the contributions of the country’s indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian cultures. Latin Americans celebrate October 12 under many different names, including Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity (Argentina), Decolonization Day (Bolivia), Day of Interculturality and Plurinationality (Ecuador), Day of Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Dialogue (Peru), and Indigenous Resistance Day (Venezuela). October 12th is not recognized as a holiday in Cuba.
November 1 mainly as Día de los Santos Inocentes (“Holy Innocents Day”), but also as Día de los Angelitos (“Day of the Little Angels”), celebrated in Mexico, Central America. It is an observance festivity to celebrate and honor one’s ancestors, specifically children and infants. It’s based on the belief that there is an interaction between the living world and the world of spirits.
November 2 is Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos (“Day of the Dead”), celebrated in Mexico, Central America. In most regions of Mexico, November 2 is to honor deceased adults. On the Día de los Muertos, the almas, or the spirits of the dead, are said to come back for family reunions. Many celebrate setting up ofrendas (altars) in their homes to honor the memory of deceased loved ones and to welcome their visiting souls. Others visit their loved one’s cemetery plot and decorate it with flowers, candles and food. The holiday is celebrated with family and community gatherings, music, and feasting, and the festivity of its observance acknowledges death as an integral part of life.
December 6 is Día de la Constitución (Constitution Day), which marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978, in which a new constitution was approved for Spain. This was an important step in Spain’s transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.
December 8 is La Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen María (the Holyday Day of Obligation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary). It celebrates December 8, 1854, when Pope Pius IX issued a document stating the importance of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception refers to the belief that Jesus’s mother Mary was conceived without sin, and that God chose her to be Jesus’s mother.
December 12 is Feast Day at Our Lady of Guadalupe. This day commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.
December 16-24 is Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating the trials Mary and Joseph endured during their journey to Bethlehem.