Every year in the month of October the famous Festival Cervantino is held in honour of the illustrious author Miguel de Cervantes, with a variety of national and international cultural and artistic events. There are exhibitions, plays, concerts, cinema and all sorts of events, turning the city into a hotbed of culture.
The International Cervantes Festival (FIC) is the most important artistic and cultural event in Mexico and in all Latin America. It has been held without interruption since 1972, the year it was created and has as its venue the city of Guanajuato. Guanajuato is also the capital of the state of the same name, birthplace of Mexico’s independence.
In its beginnings, the festival was devoted mainly to artistic creation in the Spanish language, in homage to Miguel de Cervantes. In the course of time, the universal scope of the influence of Cervantes gradually took the form of the vast variety of artistic and cultural expressions included in the festival today.
During the celebration of the International Cervantes Festival a torrent of the most outstanding works in music, opera, theatre, dance, plastic arts, cinema and literature take over all of Guanajuato, making it a privileged destination for thousands and thousands of people coming from all over Mexico and the entire world. Today there are very few countries that have not participated at some time in this feast for the senses and for the mind, through the participation of their foremost artists.
List of festivities celebrated throughout the year in the state of Guanajuato:
- January 20 - León: Local festival of St. Sebastian, patron saint of the city. Ends on the 30th.
- February 8 - Paracurao: Festival of Nuestro Padre Jesús, music, processions. The celebration and festivities last two weeks, until approximately the 23rd.
- March 30 - Salamanca: Fair. Ends April 6.
- April 20 - Celaya: Santo Cristo neighbourhood, a semi-religious festival with music, games, fireworks and dance.
- May 8 - San Felipe: Festival of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel. Of the numerous festivities the procession has a great importance. San Felipe is about 50 km. from the city of León, on highway 57.
- June 13 - Celaya: The festival of San Antonio is celebrated in the neighbourhood of the same name, with fireworks, music, dance and a battle of flowers.
- June 13 - San Miguel de Allende: An interesting religious festival is celebrated in the suburb of San Antonio, with dance, music, the most delicious antojitos (typical snacks) and the traditional "Baile de los Locos" (Dance of the Mad). The city also offers many points of interest.
- August 25 - San Luis de la Paz: Commemoration in honour of the Patron Saint, Louis, King of France, a regional fair in the northwest part of the state.
- September 25 - Dolores Hidalgo: Ceremony of the Cry for Independence ("el grito") in the porch of the parish church of Dolores.
- October 25 - Coroneo: Local festival of St. James the Apostle, fireworks, music and Pames dance.
- October 30 - Xichu: In the first week of November there are popular and regional festivals, serenades, fireworks, sports, cultural and social events, bullfights, cockfights, etc.
- December 15 - Celaya: Fair, dances, music, fireworks, dance of the Apaches.