Cultural Activities

International Cervantino Festival

Every year in the month of October the famous Festival Cervantino is held in honor of the illustrious author Miguel de Cervantes, with a variety of national and international cultural and artistic events. 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.

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.

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Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF)

Since 1998 the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) has been held during the final week of July in the cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato Capital, Mexico. The festival’s main objective is the strengthening of cinema through the mutual exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas.

We are a festival that prides itself in celebrating, supporting and awarding the next generation of filmmakers. Acting as a platform for launching new careers, GIFF’s national and international competition pits newcomers alongside the industry’s most seasoned veterans, in an atmosphere full of camaraderie and respect, where new and aspiring filmmakers mix with industry professionals in a very open, accessible and competitive environment.

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Unique to Guanajuato (and Zacatecas) are the Callejoneadas (alley performances). On Friday and Saturday nights between 8 & 9 p.m. troupes of 8 to 10 musicians (estudiantinas) dressed in 17th Century costumes, gather audiences in front of the Teatro Juarez adjacent to the Jardin de la Union. The performers lead their onlookers up through the streets and alleyways, stopping at plazitas to offer songs and skits. The performance ends at the “Alley of the Kiss”. This is a nice way to get a feel for the winding alleys and colorful houses of Guanajuato

The Day of the Dead

As in many Latin American countries, Mexico commemorates the Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. The legacy of past indigenous civilizations are respected and blend with Catholic beliefs. The Day of the Dead in Mexico is not a mournful commemoration but happy and colorful.  Indigenous people believed that souls did not die but that the spirits rest until the day they could return to their homes to visit their relatives.

Bringing gifts and tributes (toys for dead children, favorite food and drink for adults), families visit cemeteries to decorate their loved ones’ graves. Many families build shrines in their houses.. These shrines are arranged with mementos, candles and marigolds, the traditional flower of the dead.

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