Summer is over for lots of people, who are now back to work or to school. But for us – lucky residents of the Riviera Maya – there is a lot to look forward during these coming months….
September is “el mes patrio”, with the celebration of Mexico´s National Day on the night of September 15th, the traditional ceremony of “El Grito”, fireworks, fair, food, party….. and September 16th is a holiday.
In September we can enjoy the “chiles en nogada”, a special version of the chile relleno, with a different stuffing (pork meat, raisins, almonds and spices). The chiles are covered with pomegranate (only found at this time of year in Mexico) and the combination of green (chiles), white (cream) and red (pomegranate) makes this dish the emblematic one for las fiestas patrias. Some restaurants also offer a vegetarian version….
From the end of August, bakeries and supermarkets start selling the traditional “pan de muerto” (supposed to be served for the Day of the Dead, on November 1st and 2nd). Not everybody starts buying it in September, but it´s a reminder that this celebration is coming soon…… All stores are also full of Halloween related items. Halloween is not a Mexican tradition, but it is becoming increasingly popular among children, and the Riviera Maya has a very cosmopolitan population, with many people celebrating Halloween.
The Day of the Dead is among the most important and interesting celebrations in Mexico, with some regions particularly renowned for their celebrations (Janitzio in Michoacán, Mixquic, DF) among many others. Yucatan has its own way of celebrating the “Hanal Pixan” (food of souls) and for people in the Riviera Maya who cannot attend these celebrations, Xcaret hosts a beautiful “Festival de vida y muerte” (festival of life and death), a great way to get to know about this Mexican tradition. Every year, the festival has a special guest, this year it will be Mayan communities and, for the first time, a Latinamerican country.
And then, right after celebrating the Day of the Dead, it´s time to get ready for Christmas….. The Christmas decorations can be seen at the windows from the end of November, as well as the natural Christmas trees that are on sale from mid November!!!
It´s not all about celebrations, though…… Since summer is usually so hot here, we look forward to cooler days and even to our “cold” winter with minimum temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius at night. September to November are low season months for tourism, not the best for a tourist-based economy, but it´s nice to enjoy less crowded beaches and special offers and discounts in local businesses. Winter months are also windy, something kitesurfers look forward to.
Lots of good reasons to plan a trip to Playa del Carmen this fall, to learn Spanish or improve your skills and be part of our traditions!