Oaxaca is famous for its fiestas and with good reason! There is always something going on, if not in Oaxaca city itself, then in one of the surrounding villages of the Valles Centrales. Witnessing a Oaxaca fiesta is an excellent way to see true Mexican culture in action, sample some local Oaxacan cuisine and even try your hand at the traditional dances.
The Guelaguetza is Oaxaca's most famous celebration and is definitely worth scheduling your trip around as it is a once in a life time experience. But if you can't make that then don't fear! - there is sure to be something going on while you're in town! Check out our Oaxaca Festivals hotlist for the very best of Oaxaca's party calendar.
Carnival - Held the week before Lent, Carnival means fun, games and dressing up so head to Oaxaca City to join in the fun!
21st March Benito Juárez's Birthday - Celebrations in the old president's hometown of Guelatao.
Semana Santa - Oaxaca's Holy Week celebrations are definitely worth seeing - things get going around Good Friday with religious ceremonies and elaborate processions through the streets. The Basílica de la Soledad is a focal point.
Guelaguetza/ Lunes del Cerro - The two Mondays following July 16th. Possibly Latin America's most exciting fiesta, this is a must-see! Check out our Guelaguetza Oaxaca page for more information.
31st Blessing of the Animals - Certainly a very unusual event fit to rival the blessing of the cars in Bolivia's Copacabana. Locals take their animals of all shapes and sizes to be blessed at the Iglesia de la Merced.
1st & 2nd Día de los Muertos -One of Mexico's most important National Fiestas, the 'Day of the Dead' involves family and friends visiting the tombs of their loved ones and adorning them with decorations and anything that was liked by the deceased, even shots of Mezcal. Families then head home to decorate and hand made altar in remembrance of the deceased before enjoying a traditional meal.
8th Inmaculada Concepción: Popular National Fiesta to celebrate the Virgin Mary's immaculate conception.
12th Virgen de Guadalupe: National Fiesta with lots of feastina, merrymaking and fireworks to celebrate when Mexico's most iconic religious symbol, the Virgin of Guadalupe, appeared to Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in 1531.
18th Virgen de la Soledad: Big party in Oaxaca to celebrate the city's patron saint.
23rd Radish Festival (Fiesta de los Rabones): Yes, you did read that correctly - Oaxaca is probably the only place in the world to celebrate radishes so it's well worth getting down there to see what it's all about! On the night of the 23rd at the Oaxaca Zócalo artisans display their creative talents in the form of radish sculptures. The are give only five days from when the radishes are harvested to come up with the most impressive, ornate and original radish sculptures and it really is a sight to behold. From nativity scenes to mythological animals and human figures, the possibilities are endless...
24th Christmas Eve: Christmas festivities get off to a bang with fireworks, traditional food and lots of partying.