This Mexican city is a very festive place. It is home to many exciting and colorful festivals. In each Oaxaca festival, expect fun parties, civic and religious activities, flowers, foods, as well as shopping opportunities and expanded handicraft production. Following these festivals is immensely entertaining, giving you a deeper insight into the city’s people, crafts, and customs. Here is a list of some major festivals in Oaxaca that interest most visitors.


The Guelaguetza, also known as Lunes del Cerro or Monday on the Hill, is celebrated on the last two Mondays of the moth of July. In this celebration, representatives from different Oaxacan communities gather and observe the diversity of their cultures and traditions. People wear colorful traditional clothing and perform native dances particular to their region.

Día de la Santa Cruz

The Día de la Santa Cruz or Day of the Holy Cross is celebrated every May 3. Students of the University of Oaxaca dress up for the occasion and play tricks while dancing through the city streets. They make harmless tricks like throwing confetti or breaking egg shells filled with flour on the heads of bystanders. They place small crosses on under construction buildings.

Semana Santa

Semana Santa or Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday when people weave crosses and sell them in plazas and markets. On Holy Thursday, Oaxacans visit seven churches, with altars put in place for La Dolorosa or Our Lady of Sorrows.


The Carnival is one of the most colorful and loudest Oaxaca festivals. It has a flexible date, celebrated the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday and the last day prior to the beginning of Lent. The city-wide festivity includes colorful parade, lively dances, and great music. The celebration in Pacific Coast at Pinotepa de Don Luis is perhaps the best carnival festival in the city.

Fiesta de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo

The Fiesta de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo or the Festival of the Precious Blood of Christ is celebrated in Tlacochahuaya every September 23-30. It is an 8-day festival of colorful processions, beautiful dances, spectacular fireworks, and great food.