Cancun Events and Festivals

(Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Picture of the world-famous Chichen Itza temple (nearby)Cancun is a great place to experience traditional Mexican festivals and each year thousands of tourists are lucky enough to coincide their visit with a series of prominent local events. Things to do in Cancun are extremely varied and many of the city's main festivals are often religious or based around national Mexican holidays.

Due to Cancun's enviable coastline, fishing competitions are always popular here and often feature large prize money. Other notable regional festivals and events include the Cancun International Gay Festival each May, the Summer Solstice at the world-famous Chichen Itza ruins, and the Cancun International Film Festival (CIFF) in November.

Cancun Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • El Dia de Los Reyes (Feast of the Epiphany) - early January, a time to give and receive gifts. The Three Kings Day is also celebrated in Cancun at this time of the year
  • Annual Handline Barracuda Tournament - late January, keen anglers compete for the largest catch in this charity fishing competition based off the nearby Isla Mujeres


  • Dia de la Bandera de Mexico (Day of the National Flag) - February 24th, often known as simply Flag Day, where the colours of the country's flag are honoured and many street vendors sell small flags to wave


  • Dia de Nacimiento de Benito Juárez - March 21st, the anniversary of the birth of Benito Juárez's, a former Mexican president. Expect to see street entertainment, live music and numerous parties throughout downtown Cancun


  • Semana Santa / Holy Week - early April, Easter festivities take place all around Cancun, many of which have a strong religious theme. Others are just fun, such as locals smashing confetti-filled eggs on each other


  • Labour Day (Dia del Trabajo) - May 1st, a public holiday in Mexico and celebrated with fervour around Cancun
  • Cinco de Mayo - May 5th, the country's notable anniversary of its historic and famous victory over the French at Puebla
  • Cancun International Gay Festival - mid-May, a spectacular event with a range of gay-related activities, including beach barbecues, parties, live music and colourful costumes


  • Summer Solstice - late June, the year's longest day, when many people head to the Chichen Itza ruins for solstice celebrations, which are close to Cancun


  • Mayan New Year - July 16th, the official start of the Maya calendar
  • Fiesta of the Virgin of Carmen - mid-July, a national festival in Mexico, with plenty to see, do and enjoy around the city


  • La Fiesta de Playa - mid-August, beach fun for everyone, including various concerts, competitions, parties and cultural activities
  • Isla Mujeres Founding Day - August 17th, a time for dancing and parades on this anniversary
  • Labour Day Weekend - late August / early September, a popular time in Cancun, with various events taking place around the area on this US holiday


  • Viva México En Cancun - throughout September, the month's premier festival, comprises a number of popular events, such as art exhibitions, folk music and dancing, film screenings, workshops, demonstrations, street entertainment and much more besides
  • Grito de la Independencia (Independence Cry) - September 15th, midnight festivities remembering the Independence of 1810 and featuring many events around downtown Cancun. Expect lots of locals to be shouting 'Viva Mexico' or similar
  • Mexican Armada Parade / Independence Day - September 16th, this historic event is remembered in style, with a grand military parade through central Cancun attracting crowds of literally thousands
  • Latin American Food Show - mid-September, a chance to sample Mexican food at its very best, the gastronomic festival features demonstrations by many leading cooks, trade stands and workshops
  • Ironman - mid-September, a major triathlon event where leading athletes compete by swimming, cycling and finally running, watched by large crowds
  • Autumn Equinox at Chichén Itzá - late September, the nearby Mayan Chichen Itza pyramid is famous at this time of the year, since the sun rays create the image of a moving snake and attracts visitors from far and wide, lasting around ten days


  • Dia de la Raza - mid-October, the Mexican Columbus day, boasting bullfights, various processions, live music, dancing, street parties and various events with a strong Spanish theme. The Dia de la Raza is based around Cancun city centre and is fairly informal and quite exciting


  • Day of the Dead - early November, a celebration of life, as the dead are remembered and crowds gather at cemeteries, bands play loudly around the city and much of Cancun is filled with brightly colourful decorations. This traditional event is extremely historic and quite appealing
  • Cancun International Film Festival (CIFF) - mid-November, with screenings of both Latin American and international films at various cinemas around the city


  • Christmas Day (Dia de Navidad) - December 25th, a day for seasonal Christian celebrations in Mexico