When will the Mazatlan Carnival take place in 2023?

Since carnival is a Christian tradition, the event takes place before the beginning of Lent. It lasts for six days, from Thursday to Tuesday. This Tuesday has special significance in the Catholic religion because it is the last day of the feast before the 40-day fast before Easter.

In 2023, the Mazatlan Carnival will begin on Thursday, February 16, and end on Tuesday, February 21.

Where is the Mazatlan Carnival held?

The carnival is held in the city of Mazatlan, located in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. All the main events take place along the Malecon promenade, on Olas Atlas beach and in the adjoining Historic Center of the city.

How is the Mazatlan Carnival celebrated?

All the streets of Mazatlan on Carnival days are filled with a huge number of people having fun, making friends and dancing all night long to the various bands performing along the Malecon.

Carnival is famous for its live music and abundance of brass bands. Also an important feature that sets this carnival apart from others is the sound of the unique Tambora genre, which combines German and local styles of music.

In addition to excellent musical accompaniment, the Mazatlán Carnival cannot be imagined without colorful parades, spectacular fireworks, fairs, all sorts of exhibitions, contests and performances.

Since the Mazatlán Carnival is the official holiday period for the locals, the fun goes on nonstop all day and all night. People of all ages, from the elderly to very young children, can be seen on the streets during this time.

  • In recent years, the Mazatlán Carnival has reached a new level. Traditional fireworks shows have been supplemented with a modern lighting system and laser, and the dancers performing and the decorations used have become only world-class.

History of the holiday:

The Mazatlán Carnival is believed to have originated in the distant past, when the natives followed pagan traditions, believed in spirits and worshiped various gods.

The ancestors of the Mexicans gathered together painting their faces, wearing frightening costumes and masks, staging ritual dances and thus scaring away evil spirits from their homes. As time passed, Catholicism began to be preached in the country, but the tradition of partying and dressing up in unusual attire survived.

In 1898, the Mazatlán Carnival was given a more official meaning.

It was the first time a street parade with chariots and bicycles took place, and the king and queen of the carnival were elected.

The uniqueness of the Mazatlán Carnival is that its character has hardly changed since 1898. To this day, it honors all the same traditions and is celebrated in much the same way as in its early days.

Mazatlan Carnival theme for 2023:

«Deja vu, dreams of carnival» is the theme of the carnival in Mazatlán 2023. The French word used, «déjà vu», refers to the phenomenon in which one feels that one has experienced something before, when in fact it is happening for the first time.

The established theme serves as the starting point for organizing performances and selecting costumes for the upcoming themed parades. Also, a few weeks before the carnival, about 10 huge colorful statues called Monigotes can be seen along the Malecon promenade. They are based on the theme of the current year and inform residents and tourists of the upcoming festivities.

Celebration plan:

The carnival invariably includes many interesting shows and events. Below is a list of the main events and detailed information about them.

Coronation of the King of Joy:

  • This fun event is designed to announce the beginning of carnival. It sets the pace perfectly for enjoying all sorts of entertainment, delicious food and drinks.

When: Carnival Thursday.

Flower Games:

The Mazatlán Carnival is famous for various cultural events, and one of them is the poetry and literature contest «Flower Games».

It gained popularity back in 1925, when it got its name for the reason that the winners were given flowers as a prize. Over time, the prizes have become more and more significant, and the contest always receives a huge number of entries.

  1. When: Carnival Friday.
  2. Where: Estadio Teodoro Mariscal Baseball Stadium.
  3. Ticketed event.

Coronation of the Carnival Queen:

One of the most iconic events at the beginning of the carnival celebration is the election of the queen.

For this purpose, beauty contests are held, where the most elegant and graceful contestant wins. The coronation is accompanied by amazing choreographic performances, fireworks and performances by famous Latin American musicians.

  1. When: Carnival Friday.
  2. Where: Estadio Teodoro Mariscal Baseball Stadium.
  3. Ticketed event.

Coronation of the Carnival King:

The coronation event is less spectacular than the coronation of the queen, but it is just as fun and interesting. Attendance at the coronation is free and traditionally includes a beautiful salute and dance routines, followed by a musical concert.

  1. When: Carnival Saturday.
  2. Where: Estadio Teodoro Mariscal Baseball Stadium.
  3. Free event.

Getting rid of bad moods:

The burning of the giant hanging scarecrow is a tradition that is honored year after year and signifies the locals’ belief that the puppet will banish all unkind feelings from the city.

The image on it is usually modeled after the public figures of the past year who have not performed well. The event is very spectacular, and always brings a lot of positive emotions to both adults and children.

  • When: Carnival Saturday, about 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Perhaps the most crowded and grandiose carnival event, with more than 500,000 people attending.

The stunning carnival fireworks display has its own special feature, which is the historical subtext. The event commemorates the time when a warship from France tried to infiltrate Mazatlan, but the locals bravely resisted and eventually prevailed. In order to recreate the battle, along with the fireworks display, Olas Altas Beach puts on a «Battle of the Sea» performance, which is best viewed from the windows or rooftop of the house.

  1. When: Saturday at 10:00 p.m.
  2. Where: Olas Altas Beach.
  3. Free event.

Inaugural parade:

The inaugural parade takes place along the Malecon promenade and is by far the most famous and anticipated event of the Mazatlán Carnival.

The event includes the movement of many decorated themed platforms with thousands of dancers, musicians, and former and present royals. The main parade is also preceded by a pre-parade, during which promotional platforms give away free prizes to visitors.

  1. When: Carnival Sunday.
  2. Where: The Malecon Promenade, from Olas Altas Beach to the.
  3. Valentino store at the southern end of the Golden Zone.
  4. Free event.

Second carnival parade:

A mass parade along the Malecon, heralding the imminent end of the Mazatlán Carnival. Its specialty is the farewell party, which allows you to enjoy all the dancing and fun until the night before the beginning of Lent.

  1. When: Carnival Tuesday.
  2. Where: Malecon Quay.
  3. Free event.

In addition to the main events, the Mazatlan Carnival hosts additional events at the same time, such as:

  • Evening of the Arts: A cultural performance that allows you to experience the incredible culture of Mazatlan. The show includes theater, orchestra, singing and ballet.
  • Carnival Fair: Designed primarily for families and includes children’s attractions, food booths, and stalls with local goods.
  • Food Festival: a great opportunity to taste the local cuisine.
  • Masquerade balls: there are many bizarre masquerade balls going on simultaneously in the area, which you can attend by purchasing a ticket in advance.
  • Street Party: rockin’ dances day and night on Olas Altas Beach with plenty of cocktails and music bands.

Tickets to the Mazatlan Carnival:

The caravan in Mazatlan includes several free events such as parades, concerts and holiday fireworks. However, masquerade balls and all events held in the stadium are paid.

Tickets for all the main performances of the Mazatlán Carnival can be purchased at the box office of the Teatro Angela Peralta or at the Estadio Teodoro Mariscal/Venados Stadium. The ticket office can also be found in the Historic Center of the city, and ticket prices will be known closer to the event itself.

Interesting facts and tips:

  1. The Mazatlán Carnival has acquired an interesting tradition, which is that on Carnival Monday, for 24 hours, all married men are allowed to do whatever they want. This tradition is considered official and is called the «Day of the Harassed Husbands».
  2. The locals believe that the feathers on the carnival costume have great significance. The more of them, the stronger the protection from evil spirits and the happier the coming year will be.
  3. Carnival in Mazatlan is usually very crowded, and there is a possibility of being robbed. Do not take much cash with you, and leave all valuables at the hotel.