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What is La Guelaguetza in Oaxaca?

  • Joel CZ 
  • 4 min read
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La Guelaguetza is an iconic celebration held annually in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

The name of the festivity originates from the Zapotec language “guendaliza,” which means “to cooperate.”

In this celebration, the delegations representing the eight regions that make up the state of Oaxaca participate and share their different traditions and customs.

Creating an atmosphere of acceptance, homage to culture, and celebration.

Each year La Guelaguetza is celebrated on July 16, and tickets are required to attend.

So read on to find out how to buy tickets for the event and to learn a little more about the history of this special event.

Why is La Guelaguetza celebrated?

la guelaguetza oaxaca
Source: Guillermo Castorena / flickr

This charming festival was held for the first time in 1934 to restore tranquility to the people of Oaxaca, who had suffered a devastating earthquake.

Still, the origin of this celebration comes from pre-Hispanic times, when the ancient inhabitants worshipped deities such as Centéotl, the goddess of corn.

Through rituals that consisted of offering them dances and offerings that lasted about a week.

In short, La Guelaguetza is a system of mutual cooperation maintained by the neighbors of a place, especially in harvesting crops or building houses.

This way of life is traditional among the indigenous people of the state of Oaxaca.

In honor of this, they celebrate La Guelaguetza, in which a party is held with this cooperative system and is characterized by spectacular dances and colorful costumes.

How long does La Guelaguetza last?

La Guelaguetza is considered one of Oaxaca’s most famous traditions and lasts almost four weeks.

So it attracts many tourists and is known as the largest folkloric festival on the American continent, bringing together thousands of people every year.

What is Lunes del Cerro?

la guelaguetza oaxaca
La Guelaguetza is also known as the “Fiesta de los Lunes del Cerro” – Source: Richard Jack / flickr

The “Lunes del Cerro” festivities are celebrated in Oaxaca city on the two Mondays following July 16.

They are an event in which the whole town participates without social class distinction.

In the Lunes del Cerro celebrations, the spectacle of music, dances, and songs stands out.

Where does La Guelaguetza take place?

The Guelaguetza takes place in Oaxaca City, specifically in the Guelaguetza auditorium.

To get to this arena, there is a free service of citybus and yellow cabs that leave from the main square.

Just remember that there are long lines to board them.

To get there by public transportation, take the unit that passes through Crespo Street and get off at the “stairs of the Fortín,” which will take you to the auditorium.

If you want to walk, you can follow a route from the Historic Center of Oaxaca and get there in approximately 30 minutes.

How much do the tickets cost?

If you are ready to attend this extraordinary cultural event, you can purchase the tickets at superboletos.com.

They sell them around mid-May at approximately 1500 pesos (75 USD).

This special celebration is one of the most important in Mexico and the world.

So if you are a lover of folklore and dance, don’t think twice and get your tickets for this incredible cultural festival.

Please share your comments below if you have already been to La Guelaguetza. Vamonos!

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