San Miguel is, first and foremost, a city built for relaxing. It is a Spanish colonial town of perhaps 140,000 people; a heritage site protected by the Mexican government in order to maintain its character. In July of 2008 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a tourist destination, an art colony, and a retirement community for a few thousand foreigners, mostly Americans, Canadians, and Europeans. In spite of the increased number of foreigners over the past perhaps 20 years, it still is charming enough that many Mexicans visit for special holidays, and there are more than a few visitors who buy a house within a few days of their first arrival.
In 2005, a Mexican team of researchers excavated one of the richest and most important archeological sites in Mexico, La Canada De La Virgin near San Miguel. Replete with pyramidal structures that rival those of Teotihuacan and Maya civilizations, the purpose of the ancient site was to align with, and to observe, the movements of the celestial bodies. The site served as an accurate calendar, marking precise points of the seasons, indicating when to cultivate, to hunt, and to gather. The site was also a burial place for the elite, and, of course, a place for human sacrifice. The structure was built circa 800 AD by the Otomi, an ethno-linguistic group of uncertain origin. The Otomi are among the original inhabitants of Mesoamerica, and their legacy is evident everywhere in Mexico art, and culture.
The Otomi language is a part of the Oto-Pamean branch of Mesoamerican languages. In 3,500 BC, the Oto-Pamean language group broke with what is considered the mother-source of nearly all indigenous languages of Mexico, Oto-Manguean. In much the same way as Romance languages are related by having a common source in Europe, Otomi languages have a shared origin in Mesoamerica. At present, modern Otomi, along with its family of languages and dialects, is spoken by more than 200,000 people in Mexico, primarily in the states of Hidalgo, Mexico, Queretaro, and Guanajuato.
Events in San Miguel
In San Miguel de Allende there is literally always some sort of event or festival taking place. For daily events in San Miguel such as yoga classes, literary readings, festivals and more, check the bulletin board at La Biblioteca Publica or Public Library. Whether you are looking to experience the cultural side of San Miguel or partake in one of the local events San Miguel de Allende is sure to please. Below is a list of events or festivals that take place in San Miguel de Allende Mexico throughout the year. We are always looking for more events in San Miguel de Allende, if you know of an event or festival that we should add to the list below contact us and we will consider it.
Jan. 1 - Ano Nuevo - New Year's Day. Mexico and San Miguel rings in the New Year with celebrations featuring music, dance, food and fireworks. The atmosphere is wild, as if all the party-goers had simultaneously won the local casino grand jackpot. It truly is a sight to behold! There is nothing quite like it. Streets are filled with revelers, and friends and families congregate for parties that often last till dawn.
Jan. 21 - Natalicio del General Ignacio Allende y Unzaga - Birthday of General Ignacio Allende commemorates the birth of Don Ignacio Allende, hero of Mexico's fight for independence. The town San Miguel de Allende is named after him in tribute to his sacrifice.
Feb, Mar - Carnival - Festivity that takes place in San Miguel's, similar to Mardi Gras in the U.S. which is held in February and March. During this celebration you'll see parades, Mass ceremonies and cleansing rituals, such as people walking over hot coals.
Sabor San Miguel Viking - International food and wine festival was created and organized to promote Mexico's great food and wine industry. Meet and interact with important celebrities and personalities of Mexican gastronomy. Info visit website
Mar or April - Semana Santa - Holy Week, processions, celebration of Masses throughout the state. In some towns, the Burning of Judas ritual takes place, represented by paper-mache figures and cartoons of historical or contemporary personalities.
June 13 - Fiesta de San Antonio de Padua - Festival of San Antonio de Padua. This traditional and very popular festival is held on June 13th. It is characterized by the "Los Locos" (Crazy ones) parade, where people dress in costume and masks and dance through the streets of San Miguel.
International Guitar Festival - Guitar festival, featuring performances throughout the city, master classes by internationally renowned artists, lectures, exhibitions of instruments, as well as a food and arts festival spotlighting traditional food and art from the region.
Festival Internacional de Musica de Camara - International Chamber Music Festival. A classical music festival to bid farewell to the summer, featuring award-winning international ensembles, guest musicians and local artists performing in the city's open gardens. Info view website
Sept 6 - 16 - Fiestas Patrias - Patriots Festival in San Miguel is over a week long festival honoring the "Cry for Independence" leading up to Mexican Independence Day. Cultural activities, civic events and fireworks are displayed daily. Takes place at Casa de Ignacio Allende.
Sept 15 - Dia de la Independencia - (Independence Day) September 15 & 16. Military parades and reenactment of the Grito or call for independence from Spain in 1810. Parades and fireworks are displayed throughout the city, but concentrated at El Jardin or the cities central garden.
Sanmiguelada - Also known as the Pamplonada because it is Mexico's imitation of Spain's "running of the bulls," the Sanmiguelada begun in 1973. This event has been cancelled until further notice, however we have information on past events...More
Sept. 29 - Fiesta de San Miguel Arcangel - (Festival of the Archangel San Miguel. This festival is in honor of the Patron Saint of of San Miguel and is celebrated on September 29, every year. Cultural, social, artistic and sporting events are held throughout the city, along with bullfights.
Nov 1, 2 - Dia de los Muertos - (Day of the Dead). Altars are built in homes, markets and shops to honor and receive dead souls which return to earth once a year. The day of the dead is considered a festive celebration rather than mournful event celebrating departed loved ones.
Annual Jazz Festival - The Annual Jazz Festival is an opportunity to show some of the history behind Jazz as well as the history and culture that San Miguel de Allende offers to its visitors. Info view website
Dec 12 - Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe - (Virgin of Guadalupe Day).The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico. She appeared to the Indian Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in the early 16th century. Celebration includes mass, serenades and pilgrimages.
Dec 16 - 24 - Fiesta de Navidad - Christmas festivities in San Miguel de Allende celebrates its Christmas festivals with events for all the family with traditional posadas, pastoral plays, music, canticles and parades. The giant Christmas tree is lit in front of La Parroquio...More
Festival de San Miguel de Allende - International music festival, presented during the last two weeks of the year, the festival came to be recognized by the Mexican government as the country's best festival of classical music. Info view website