Important dates


  • HOLY WEEK
  • For the Catholic community, Holy Week is the annual commemoration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. It is a period of intense liturgical activity, beginning with Friday of Sorrows and Palm Sunday, and ending on Easter Sunday.

    Besides all the activities mentioned above, Xilitla also holds a cultural festival, a living stations of the cross and a silent procession.

  • AUGUST 16, ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF EDWARD JAMES
  • Edward Frank Willis James was born on August 16, 1907, and each year, different activities are held in the sculpture garden to mark the date.

  • AUGUST 28, SAINT AUGUSTINE
  • In 1537, the order of Saint Augustine mandated the evangelization of what was then known as the Sierra Alta, designating Fray Antonio de la Roa to run the mission there. To this end, construction began on the Xilitla Monastery in 1553, but it also served as a fortified building to withstand attacks by the Chichimec Indians.

    In Xilitla, Saint Augustine is honored every August 28 with the celebration of the patron saint’s day. Activities begin the day before and include a Mass, pilgrimages, fireworks, dancing, bull riding and a cavalcade.

  • NOVEMBER 2, XANTOLO
  • The Day of the Dead represents the fusion of pre-Hispanic tradition and the Catholic All Saints’ Day, celebrated on November 2, resulting in a ritual that UNESCO has classified as world heritage of humanity: a magical time that opens a gate between this world and the next, through which the dead may pass to share a meal with their loved ones.

    The wordxantolo derives from the Latin sanctorum, “all saints,” having been transformed by the phonetics of indigenous languages.

    In the communities of this region, it is customary to visit the cemeteries to set up altars next to the graves of loved ones. Families also erect large palm and marigold arches in their homes. These are placed on rectangular tables which also hold the offerings that the dead come to savor at noon, when they are received to the sound of firecrackers and vinuetes (a folk musical expression associated with sacred spaces).