Living in another country means learning a few things, one of which are the national holidays. When I first moved to Mexico, there were many times I stood locked out of a place I needed to be. Peering through the glass door at a row of empty bank tellers was never fun, but it prompted me to learn about Mexico’s national holidays.
We may not have celebrations such as Halloween or Thanksgiving in Mexico, but instead we have Dia de los Muertos (November 1 and 2) and Dia de la Revolucion, which is officially November 20 and are dates you need to learn if you intend to live here.
Since the holiday, like most, do not fall on their destined dates, Dia de la Revolucion is reserved for the third Monday of every November. And in case you’re wondering, no, the banks are not open.
Dia de la Revolucion is a national public holiday that celebrates the struggle that began in 1910 to overthrow the dictatorship of liberal Army general Porfirio Díaz after 35 years as president of Mexico (1876-1911).
In the 1910 presidential election, wealthy landowner Francisco Madero opposed Díaz. Díaz jailed Madero, who then escaped, issuing the Plan of San Luis Potosí on October 6, 1910.
In that plan, Madero declared the results of the 1910 election fraudulent, nullified them, asserted that he was provisional president, and called for Mexicans to rise up against Díaz on November 20, 1910.
He wrote, “Throw the usurpers from power, recover your rights as free men, and remember that our ancestors left us a heritage of glory which we are not able to stain. Be as they were: invincible in war, magnanimous in victory.”
Mexico, like most Latin American countries, has a long history of an assortment of battles, and Dia de la Revolucion is only one of many. It’s surprising at just how many holidays there are here in Mexico, especially when you come from a young country like I do. It took a bit of getting used to, but now I’m prepared for things such as bank closures.
If you’re interested, you can read more details about the long version of Dia de la Revolucion here on Historia de Mexico.
During the national holiday, many cities will hold parades on streets lined with bazaars. If you happen to find yourself in the midst of a Revolution Day celebration, this will be the perfect time to try some of the country’s authentic foods such as enchiladas, tostadas, tacos and fajitas.
On Revolution Day, banks, schools, government offices and many businesses are closed. Some streets and roads may be closed or restricted in towns and cities to make way for large celebrations. People intending on travelling via public transport in Mexico should check with public transit authorities on any timetable or route changes.