Festival of Mariachi and Mexican Traditions

Festival of Mariachi and Mexican Traditions

Trumpets and Palaces


This tradition starts every September with the blast of trumpets. Morelia dresses up for the violins and guitars that sound in her streets. The music chimes with the wonderful architecture of the city, and beats like the heart of the people. The plazas buzz with the sound of musical tradition.

The expert view

  1. The word mariachi come from the french word ‘mariage’, which means marriage.
  2. One version of its origins is that during the French invasión of the 18th century, two French soldiers got married in Jalisco to some music that they called “mariage”.
  3. Whatever its origins, the music became iconic of Mexico thanks to Mexican cinema’s global reach.
  4. Originally, they only sang ‘sones’, but today they sing ballads, songs to dance to, and even rock and rap!
  5. When the festival isn’t on, mariachis can be found on the corner of Virrey de Mendoza and Antonio Alzate.


  1. How to dress?
    Morelia generally has a warm climate. The best way to dress for the Mariachi Festival is with boots, a shirt tucked into your pants, and of course, a big wide brimmed hat!
  2. What to eat ?
    In the evening, a visit to one of the many “cenadurias” or late night eating spots is recommended. La inmaculada and Doña Chole in the Vasco de Quiroga neighborhood are good choices, as are La Lupita in Ventura Puente and El Portal de San Agustín in center.
  3. What to buy?
    The center is full of stores, and the candy and craft market is just two blocks from the cathedral. Not far away, in the San Francisco neighborhood, you’ll find the ‘Casa de las Artesanias’ or house of crafts. Mezcal makes a good gift, given its rising popularity.
  4. Other tips:
    Famous local songs include “Arriba Pichátaro”, “Juan Colorado” and “Caminos de Michoacán”, all sung by cheerful mariachis.


  1. Following the festival program automatically takes you on a tour of the city. Don’t miss “Las Rosas” a conservatory, church, and garden downtown. A little further up there’s the Clavijero Palace, which now hosts cultural events, and the wonderful cathedral, among the most spectacular in Mexico
  2. If you want to continue with the mariachi atmosphere, check out a traditional ‘cantina’ bar, like La Enramada or Las Patitas de Willy.
  3. Morelia is a world heritage site, so it´s hard to list all the wonderful places here, but if you stroll around the center, you will find a gem of a place on every corner.
  4. Some venues are a little distant from the colonial center, and as such have different things to offer. The Las Americas neighborhood has malls, shops and restaurants.

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