About the Honorary Host of the festival
mexico as honorary host of the festival

Mexico consists of several ethnic groups. The mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) group accounts for 62 per cent of the population. Amerindian people or predominantly Amerindian people account for 21 per cent, while 10 per cent of the population is of European descent. These groups form a culture that is unique to Mexico.

  • Languages of Mexico

    The overwhelming majority of Mexicans today speak Spanish. Spanish is spoken by 92.7 per cent of the Mexican population. About 6 per cent of the population speak Spanish as well as indigenous languages, such as Mayan, Nahuatl and other regional languages. Indigenous Mexican words have even become common in other languages, including English. For example, ‘chocolate’, ‘coyote’, ‘tomato’ and avocado all originated in Nahuatl.

  • Religions of Mexico

    Around 82 per cent of Mexicans identify themselves as Catholic, although many have incorporated pre-Hispanic Mayan or Aztec elements as part of their faith. Christian denominations represented include Presbyterians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists and Anglicans. There are also small communities of Muslims, Jews and Buddhists.

  • Values of the Mexican People

    Family is one of the most important elements in the Mexican society. Especially outside of cities, families are typically large and Mexicans are very conscious of their responsibilities to immediate family members and extended family such as cousins and even close friends.

    Hosting parties at their homes is a large part of Mexican life and making visitors feel comfortable is a large part of the values and customs of the country. Family units are usually large, with traditional gender roles and extensive family involvement from external members who assist one another in day-to-day life. There is a strong connection among family members. Parents are treated with a high degree of respect, as is the family in general and there may be constant struggle, especially for the growing children, between individual wants and needs and the wants and needs of the family. One large event in a Mexican family is the Quinceañera. It is a celebration of a young lady's 15th birthday. It signifies the girl's journey from childhood to womanhood. The party includes an elaborate dress for the maid of honour, food, dancing, friends and families. Before the party, there is often a mass at the girl's church. The girl is accompanied throughout the festivities by her damas (maids of honour) and chambelánes (chamberlains).

  • Mexican arts

    Clay pottery, embroidered cotton garments, wool shawls and outer garments with angular designs, colourful baskets and rugs are some of the common items associated with Mexican folk art. Millennia-old traditions continue in silversmithing, mosaics, textiles, pottery and basket-weaving. The country is closely associated with the Mariachi style of folk music. Originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco sometime in the 19th century, it involves a group of musicians — playing violins, guitars, basses, vihuelas (a five-string guitar) and trumpets — and wearing silver-studded charro suits and elaborate hats. "La Cucaracha" is a well-known Mariachi staple. Two of Mexico's most famous artists are Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Their paintings include vibrant colours and depictions of life in Mexico. Rivera was a pioneer of Muralism, a movement which used expansive wall art to educate the people.

  • Mexican food

    Mexican cuisine varies widely between regions, as each town has its own culinary traditions. Tortillas and other food made from corn are common everywhere, though, as are pepper, tomatoes and beans. Rice is also a staple. Many foods which originated in Mexico are popular worldwide, including avocadoes, chocolate and pumpkins. Mexico is known for its tequila, which is made from agave cactus, which is well suited to the climate of central Mexico. Soda is a very popular drink in Mexico, as the country has a well-developed beverage industry.

  • Mexican clothing

    In the cities, fashion in Mexico is influenced by international trends, so the typical urban Mexican dresses similar to people in Europe and the United States. Traditional Mexican clothing for women includes a sleeveless tunic-like dress called ‘huipil’. Originally, these cotton dresses were made very simple with garnishes of colour. However, traditional Mexican women´s clothing now regularly includes lots of ornate embroidery, often including images and patterns that have symbolic meaning attached to them. One distinguishing item of traditional men's clothing is a large blanket cape called a sarape. Boots are also a wardrobe staple. The charro suit, with its origins as the outfit worn by Mexican cowboys, is mostly associated with Mariachi musicians. The suit is also an acceptable substitute for a tuxedo at formal events in Mexico. The charro suit includes the sombrero, a wide-brimmed hat that provides plenty of shade.

  • Holidays and celebrations

    The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is celebrated on Dec. 12, is a major Mexican holiday celebrating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to an Indian man in the first years of the Spanish rule. She is the patron saint of the country. This is followed closely by Posadas, a nine-day celebration in which people re-enact Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem to search for a place to stay. Families go from door to door carrying candles and singing, asking for shelter until the owners open the door, at which point the party begins. The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), celebrated on Nov. 2, is a day set aside to remember and honor those who have died. Carnival is also celebrated in many communities throughout Mexico to mark the period before Lent. Independence Day, marking the country's separation from Spain in 1810, is celebrated on Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo, which marks a Mexican military victory over the French in 1862, is more widely celebrated in the United States (as beer promotion) than it is in Mexico.

  • Nature

    MEXICO is one of the world’s mega-diverse countries, with a wealth of ecosystems and species. One of these ecosystems, the tropical deciduous forest, once stretched from northern Mexico all along its Pacific coast to Central America. Today, less than 15% remains, and only 5% has been legally protected. The most important causes of megadiversity in Mexico are its topography, its variety of climates and its complex geological, biological and cultural history. All these important factors have contributed to the formation of a mosaic of environmental conditions that enabled evolution of a large variety of habitats and life forms. The complex topography of the country, together with the changes running along the latitudinal continuum create an enormous number of environmental variants. The changes in altitude produce other climatic variations in many other dimensions, such as the intensity of solar radiation, atmospheric humidity, diurnal oscillation of temperature and amount of oxygen available.

  • Cinema in Mexico

    In 2016, 162 feature films were produced. It is the second highest result since 1958. Most films (58%) are financed with public funds. Private production has been on the rise for three consecutive years and is now at 32%.It costs an average of 19.8 million pesos (just over one million dollars) to make a film in Mexico. In 2016, the cost was 6% lower compared to the previous year.Women are more and more involved in the Mexican cinema. The year 2016 was record-breaking for female directors. 37 out of 162 films produced in 2016 were directed by women, which translates to 23%. Ten years ago, women made only 8 films per year.For the documentary genre, 2016 was the best year with 66 productions. This is the highest score since the beginning of these statistics, i.e. since 2010.

  • Pre-Columbian culture

    The emergence of the first societies coincides with what archaeologists call the Preclassic. Historic sites from this period include the western territory of Mexico, the central highlands, the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the region of Oaxaca and the southeast towards Central America, or almost all of Mesoamerica. That still Neolithic layer covers a unique civilization – known as the Olmecs – which developed on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, at the border between today's states of Veracruz and Tabasco. The Olmek civilization appeared 1,500 BC. It is famous for monumental ‘Olmec heads’ made of stone and is seen as Mexico's mother civilization.