Mexico has three classifications of holidays: statutory, civic and festivities. This article will review statutory holidays known as dias de asueto. Statutory holidays are legislated by the Mexican Federal Government and ruled by the Federal Labor Laws under Article 74. Employees, public and private, are entitled to the day off with or without pay, a fact that I have had conflicting information for. Supposedly, if required by the employer for a worker to be on the job on a statutory holiday they are entitled to their regular pay and overtime. I’ve only been able to ascertain that Christmas Day and New Year’s Day can be taken off from work with pay. There are between 7 and 9 statutory holidays a year. Holidays that fall on a Friday or Sunday, will be celebrated on the following Monday.
January 1st, the first holiday of the year, is of course, New Year’s Day.
Constitution Day is celebrated on the first Monday in February. This day commemorates all the constitutions of Mexico. The Constitution of 1857, known as the Reform Laws included such things as: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the right to bear arms, civil liberties for all Mexicans, the reaffirmation of the abolishment of slavery, debtors prison and the death penalty; it secularized marriage and greatly curtailed the power of the Catholic Church. The Constitution of 1917 was drafted during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 – 1917. This is still the Constitution in force today.
President Benito Juarez Day celebrates his birthday of March 21, 1806. This holiday is observed on the third Monday of March. Benito Juarez became a lawyer in 1834 and a judge in 1841. From 1847 to 1852 he served as governor of the state of Oaxaca. He was president of Mexico five times. He helped draft the Plan of Ayutla, demanding the deposition of Santa Anna and the implementation the Constitution of 1857. He is known for his efforts to modernize his country and for restoring Mexico to a Republic.
May 1st: Labor Day, commemorates the union movement of the Mexican worker. Article 123 of the Constitution of 1917 gave workers the right to organize labor unions and to strike. This article also provided for the protection of women and children, an eight hour work day and a living wage.
Independence Day: September 16th. Since 1825, Mexico commemorates the anniversary of the day, a Roman Catholic priest, Father Hidalgo y Costilla, made his dramatic speech, known as El Grito de Dolores. This speech propelled the start the war of independence from Spain. On the evening of September 15, 1810 Father Hidalgo roused the people to revolution in the town of Dolores near the city of Guanajuato. The war lasted 11 years. On the evening of September 15, a big celebration is held, usually at the Municipal Building, with speeches, food concessions, music and fireworks.
Mexican Revolution Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday of November. Francisco I. Madero led the uprising in 1910 against the dictator Porfirio Diaz. The war is acknowledged as lasting over 10 years. The Mexican Revolution is recognized as one of the most important and greatest upheavals of the 20th century. This revolution brought about the manifestation the Mexican Constitution of 1917.
Christmas Day, December 25th, celebrates the birth of Christ.
Besides the above mentioned statutory holidays, every 6 years, a new president is sworn into office on December 1st and election days, as designated by federal and local election laws.