Mexican Customs and Traditions: Discovering the Real Mexico

How fun my trip to Mexico was! As expected, it was lively and action-packed. From the peaceful rural towns in Chiapas to the lively cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen--they all share a rich cultural tapestry, woven together with threads that have grown, frayed, and changed over centuries. To delve a little bit deeper, I invited guest writer Megan Taylor to describe some unique Mexican customs and traditions.

Like its people, certain foods and events can be interestingly eclectic and colorful. Check them out below while I write more articles and details about my trip to Mexico in the coming week 😉

Unique Mexican Customs and Traditions

Mexican customs and traditions, Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead bread

In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a day of remembrance at the end of October, oor locals honor friends and family members who have passed away. Many events take place across Mexico during the season, but Cancun, Mexico’s party capital, puts on an elaborate show not to be missed..

In the days leading up to the celebration, families get together to make and bake pan de muerto: a sweet bread that is traditionally eaten during a picnic at a loved one’s grave on the Day of the Dead.

Family always comes first

Like in many other Latin American countries, family is extremely important in Mexican culture. The values of respect and responsibility are crucial to the way of life.

Typically, Mexican families are quite large–with the concepts of responsibility extending as far as second cousins. You will sometimes find that families live within the same neighborhood too, although this is a changing custom as people adapt to a more contemporary lifestyle.


Tequila is the drink most people think of when they think of Mexico. For once, it is a truthful stereotypes: tequila is something Mexicans are immensely proud of. Its production predates colonial rule and so it represents the very essence of Mexican culture, history and nature.

So yes, I will still preach to the choir: take a shot!

Mexican customs and traditions, hat dance

Mexican hat dance by Sage Ross, Creative Commons

The Mexican Hat Dance

Jarabe Tapatío, known as The Mexican Hat Dance in English, is a traditional Mexican dance representing the courtship between a man and a woman.

Fun fact: the dance was banned during the colonial era. Upon Mexican Independence though, many people started to celebrate it more openly by holding fiestas and performing the dance upon Mexican independence. This made the Mexican Hat Dance explode in popularity soon after.

While it may have lost some of its charm in the eyes of youngsters today, the traditional Mexican dance is still taught to children in schools–so everyone at least knows the basics!

Big lunches

Lunch is a big deal in Mexico, so loosen those belts and get ready to tuck in! As the biggest meal of the day, lunch is usually eaten any time between 1 PM to as late as 4 PM.

Work ceases during the middle of the day, so Mexicans often eat a big lunch with their families and return to work later in the afternoon. Rice, corn, beans, wheat, chorizo, tomatoes, and chilli are the traditional staples, although European and American foods can also be found.

One excellent eatery where you can fill your bellies is the Kitchen Table in Tulum. The establishment is so traditional, with an outside kitchen and no electricity. Get the classic refried beans no matter your main entree for a true taste of Mexico.


Although a 15% tax is added to the bill – that’s not the automatic gratuity that many of us assume it is! Make sure to leave a 15-20% tip, as customary in the USA, if you don’t want to appear rude.

Like this? PIN this photo and post below!

Mexican customs and traditions list

Feeling inspired? Check out some underrated Mexican attractions here

If you already have your eyes set on this region of Latin America, I highly recommend you check out the following Mexico tours I experienced myself.

This entry was posted in Mexico by Maria Alexandra. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maria Alexandra

Maria Laborde, aka latinAbroad, is an open-minded, highly-energetic woman with the spirit of a child. A world citizen, Puerto Rican at heart, carrier of an American passport. A passionate translator and writer, sprinkling Latin spice around the world!

2 thoughts on “Mexican Customs and Traditions: Discovering the Real Mexico

    • Hmm, that’s a great point you bring up Maja 😉 haha! I’m actually going to write a post about lesser-known Mexican food and drinks at the end of this month, so stay tuned because MEZCAL is definitely making an appearance! ;d

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