Summer's End…Means More Fun in Sunny Mexico
In my native Pacific Northwest, the fall equinox marks the beginning of the rainy season. But down in Mexico we breathe a sigh of relief as hurricane season is nearing its end. Especially this year, since hurricane season has been particularly harsh. The effects of the hurricanes are even felt a mile up in elevation, far inland from the coasts, in my home on the continental shelf of the Chihuahuan Desert--but mostly in the form heavy rains.
As September exits and October begins, the climates in the northern regions of the US and Canada begin to chill and experience more wetness and gloomy weather. But the weather is quite the opposite in Mexico.
October is a fine time to visit Mexico. I first came to Mexico in October to escape the cold, wet weather of the northwestern United States. The hurricanes, generally, have long passed, and the climate is nice and dry in most of the regions of Mexico.
October isn’t particularly rife with national celebrations or holidays. There is one holiday shared by Mexicans, as well as gringos, during this month; October 12th. Columbus Day in the US is known as Dia de la Raza in Mexico, commemorating the joining of the Spanish culture with the Mesoamerican cultures.
Much of Mexico's liberal youth celebrate Halloween on the 31st. Conversely, many of the conservative catholic population denounce it as a pagan celebration of death; it is originally derived from an old Celtic tradition.
November is when the real fun starts with Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on the first and second days of the month. It's still plenty warm during this part of November, throughout most of Mexico, and the parties take to the streets, rampant with celebration and reverence for those who have passed on to the other side. The Day of the Dead is a very culturally Mexican holiday. It combines Catholic holy days with ancient Mesoamerican tradition, and the skeletal decorations are in an originally Mexican art style.
In the more elevated, mountainous areas of Mexico (where most of Mexico's larger cities are located), December is when the chill starts to set in, mainly at night, though still part of the dry season. The Mexican beaches are plenty warm year-round, and great tropical escapes even during the deepest parts of winter.
December is practically a non-stop party time in Mexico. In certain parts of the country, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on Sundays, but an exception is made for this law solely during the month of December.
If you're north of the border, as I was during my upbringing and much of my adult life, and you're seeing the last days of warm weather slip away: chin up. It will come back around next year. If you can't wait till then, Mexico is always happy to greet you with a warm climate and smiling faces.