Each July Oaxaca celebrates its biggest and most important festival of the year – The Guelaguetza!
While the main event is the Lunes del Cerro (Mondays 20th and 27th), there are hundreds of side events for you to enjoy. The streets will be filled with parades, music, traditional calendas, artisan markets, and street food.
Now in its 83rd year the Guelaguetza is an amazing celebration. Over 70 delegations from each of the eight traditional regions of Oaxaca will gather at the Guelaguetza Auditorium to present their culture through music and dance.
There will be several large calendas (traditional parades) through the streets of Oaxcaca with the major events being on Saturdays 18th and 25th at 6pm. You can expect to see representatives from all the delegations in traditional dress, Monos (the giant puppets), women carrying flower-filled baskets on their heads (Chinas Oaxaqueñas), plus a lot of dancing, music and fireworks. There will also be a competition to choose the Godddess Centéotl, the woman most representative of her pueblo.
There will be many other events during the month including music, theatre and dance performances at Teatro Macedonio Alcalá, Santo Domingo and Plaza de la Danza, artisanal markets, art exhibitions, local bands and a range of other cultural events. Most events are free and you can see the daily listings on our events page.
As well as the myriad of events in Oaxaca Centro there are a number of alternative Guelaguetzas in the towns of the central valleys on the Lunes del Cerro. These events will be held in Santa María El Tule, Villa de Etla, Zaachila, Cuilapam, and San Antonino Castillo Velasco – Ocotlán. Many of these regional towns will also hold exhibitions, fairs and markets of local products. You can find more information on the events pages.
Tickets for the Guelaguetza 2015 are available from Ticketmaster and cost $1240 for Section A and $960 for Section B. Sections C and D are free. Held on the 20th and 27th of July, there are two shows daily. If you’re planning to sit in sections C and D make sure you get there early as the queues are always very long. There’s not much shelter in the stadium so a hat and sunscreen are essential.