Veracruz is a very prosperous state in Mexico, with its wealth stemming mainly from the continuous docking of trade and cargo ships at its strategically-located ports, and its rich, fertile lands growing coffee, fruits, and tobacco.
The people of Veracruz – Jarochos – are known for their easy-going and cheerful disposition. With their Afro-Caribbean roots and exuberant nature, Jarochos love to party and all-year-round, and the atmosphere in the port city is one of leisure, music, and laughter.
It’s, therefore, no surprise that Veracruz hosts one of the best carnivals in the world – competing with Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. It is considered the “Happiest Carnival in the World”.
The Carnaval de Veracruz was first held in 1866, during colonial times when the country was ruled by Emperor Maximiliano.
The ever-cheerful Jarochos requested permission from the Head Prefect, Domingo Bureau, to celebrate the “Fiesta de Mascaras” – mask and disguise parties that were held in the main social centers of the time, such as theaters and ballrooms, wherein locals gave free rein to their high-spirited nature.
Although the parties were held exclusively in the ballrooms, on the way there people would parade in the streets and would be cheered on by those standing on the sidewalks.
Domingo Bureau obtained permission to celebrate the street carnivals and the tradition of the Carnival Parades was born. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, the Carnaval de Veracruz has grown in nature and size and is now organized by a formal Committee.
The annual carnival is scheduled to begin nine days before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, so the exact dates change each year. For nine days the port city of Veracruz and its visitors enjoy a true public fiesta – with colorful parades, music, and festivities.
The Carnaval starts with the burning of “Bad Moods” and ends with the burial of Juan Carnaval. During the carnival, locals and visitors enjoy magnificent dances, disguise parties, fireworks, great food, arts and crafts, and listening to the traditional music of harps, marimbas, and guitars.
This is a great time to visit the port of Veracruz – rich in history, tradition, and, of course, good humor and parties.
It is a good idea to book your hotel in advance as they fill up during the Carnaval season.
Things for which you will love the Carnival of Veracruz
No need to say much, no matter if you go alone or accompanied, the carnival is the party where you will dance and sing with people you do not even know but that will make it even more fun and that Veracruzans are so sociable that they will not allow you to get bored.
If you go to Veracruz Carnival, of course, you have to enjoy the parade of allegorical cars, there are a thousand forms that are also accompanied by comparsas that infect their joy and the desire to follow them dancing.
A very important part of Carnival of Veracruz are the concerts that take place on the main stage, to him great artists have come who have managed to turn on all the public because of course, there is no way to refuse a good dance.
La Veracruz gastronomy is Cultural Heritage and it is not for less, its flavor is unique, so take advantage of your visit to try all the delights it has to offer, the mole, the tamales, the famous snacks, the “arroz a la tumbada” (traditional Mexican dish prepared with white rice and seafood).
These are just some of the dishes that you will fall in love with and if you accompany them with a good “torito” or a beer!
There are many things to take into account if you want to visit Veracruz during the carnival, you should check where you will stay before since hotels are usually filled due to high demand.