Carnival, the popular February celebration, is not the only event worth checking out on this island escape. Cozumel hosts several festivals throughout the year, highlighting the past and present of the island’s people and adding color to any vacation.
Spring brings El Cedral Fair, which commemorates the Day of the Holy Cross. Locals and tourists join in the fun; there are games, food stands, cattle exhibitions, rodeos and bullfights. Traditional dances -- “Head of the Boar” and “The Ribbons” -- are featured as well. Also during this season is an annual sportfishing tournament: Anglers from all over come to fish for marlin, wahoo, dorado, tuna and barracuda.
The revelry continues in the fall, with Mexican Independence Day, Fiesta of Saint Michael the Archangel and Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). For Independence Day, shouts of “Viva Mexico!” fill the air and a fair surrounds City Hall. On the important religious holiday here, Archangel St. Michael is honored with a lively journey through town; participants wear traditional Mayan garb. And for the Day of the Dead families decorate graves, leaving presents for the deceased, who many believe return on this night to spend time with loved ones.
Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadalupe rounds out the year in December. Processions, a race around the island and a grand celebration with mariachi bands, traditional dishes and dancing are highlights of this holiday.