Mexican Culture

Mexican culture reflects its past, its present reality, and its path into the future.

Mexican culture is influenced by ancient and modern cultural elements.

Mexican culture boasts global regard.

Characteristics of Mexican Culture

Mexican culture is a result of the coexistence of mixed cultural elements of diverse origin: from pre-Hispanic aspects to modern ones, from indigenous to Spanish influences.

Mexico has a diversity of cultural traits due to the events it has experienced over time. The way of life in Mexico includes aspects of Spanish influence and   of indigenous culture.  Myths, stories and mystical customs portray both.   

Cultural Richness

Mexican culture is very rich. Its Mesoamerican territory was the cradle of important cultures, such as the Maya, the Toltec, the Mixtec, the Olmec, and the Mexica (Aztec). These stand out as cultures that gave rise to Mexican culture.  

Much of cultural richness in Mexico is owed to indigenous legacy. Presently, there are about 60 different native peoples and 68 spoken indigenous languages.

Ethnicity and culture of Indigenous legacy transmit traditions, language, beliefs, and mythology.

The indigenous language In Mexico with the largest number of speakers is Nahuatl.

Elements of Mexican Culture

The following elements predominate in Mexican culture:

Mexican Gastronomy.  Mexican cuisine is one  ty in the world. The heritage of aboriginal corn, beans and hot peppers contrast with elements of European roots. Gastronomical tradition includes corn tortillas, beans, chili, guacamole, tamales, pozole and tostadas.  Enchiladas, tacos, tamales, and salsas are internationally renowned. Mexican gastronomy is considered by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Mexican Literature. Mexico has one of the most important literary traditions. Authors include Nezahualcoyotl, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Amado Nervo, and modern authors such as Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo, José Gorostiza, Carlos Fuentes, Fernando del Paso, and many others. Octavio Paz was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1990.  

Mexican Art. Mexican Art is renowned. Internationally renowned names in painting and murals include such as Diego de Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and others.

Mexican Music. Mexican music is internationally recognized. Rancheras, corridos, ballads, rock, and mariachi music are popular.  Renowned performers include Pedro Infante, Vicente Fernández, Juan Gabriel, Joan Sebastian, Julieta Venegas. Groups such as Café Tacvba, Maldita Vecindad, Caifanes, Maná, and Molotov, stand out.

Images of Mexican Culture

The images of Mexican Culture are well known:

  • Mexican Archaelology. Mexico’s archaeological legacy is one of the most important in the world. Various Mesoamerican cultures occupied a large portion of the territory. The main Mexican archaeological sites are Tulum, Chichen Itza, Coba, Uxmal, Monte Albán, and Dzibanché.
  • Mexican Cuisine. Enchiladas, tacos, and tamales are internationally renowned. Tequila is known of all over the world. The cultivation of blue agave, from which tequila is produced is a part of Mexican culture.
  • Mexican Art and Music.  Mexican visual arts and music are important worldwide.  Murals painted by Diego Rivera are displayed in the National Palace in Mexico City. The Mexican Revolution and its legacy are apparent in artistic tradition. “Mariachi” is referred to as the musicians and to the music of the same name, which are very popular. Mariachis accompany traditional events and family celebrations. The Plaza Garibaldi, in Mexico City, is famous for the access to Mariachis.  
  • Mexican Traditions.  Ancient traditions and rituals are still preserved in Mexico. The Day of the Dead is one of the most celebrated traditions. It is celebrated November 1 and 2, when according to tradition, the dead visit their living families. It is celebrated with typical foods, decorations, and parades. The tradition of the voladores of Papantla is also preserved.  
  • Cinema and television. Mexican cinema and television were very important moment in the 1900’s.  Artists such as Pedro Infante, María Félix, Dolores del Río, Jorge Negrete, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”, Germán Valdés “Tin Tan” were important figures during the “Golden age” which took place from 1930 to the 1950’s.

Contemporary Mexican Culture

Contemporary Mexican culture is the result of both Spanish colonization and indigenous tradition.

Presently, cultural practices of Mexicans are highly related to their levels of schooling and income.

– The Catholic religion is dominant in Mexico. Other religions and indigenous beliefs are respected.

– Mexican historical dates and events are very important. Feast days and religious holidays are celebrated throughout the year.

– The family environment is very important in Mexican society. Family is the most-important element of Mexican culture.

– In daily life, most Mexicans greet each other depending on the relationship.

– Spanish is the main language spoken in Mexico. There are also indigenous languages spoken.

– Most Mexicans wear clothing influenced by the United States and Europe. Different indigenous peoples wear unique clothing, depending on the region and tradition. 

– Many Mexicans follow the way of life of their parents/ancestors.

– In some regions of Mexico, Spanish heritage is important.

More than 90% of the Mexican population lives in cities of more than 200,000 inhabitants. In cities, contemporary Mexican life is very similar in some regard to cities in other parts of the world.



Mexico – Holidays, Festivals, Traditions | Britannica