January 21st: International Mariachi Day

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Mariachi day is celebrated in Mexico and all around the world on January 21 to salute mariachi music. Mariachi is a music genre that dates back to the 19th century.

It is a genre of regional Mexican folk music with origins in several regions of western Mexico. In Mexico, mariachis are extremely popular at social events such as weddings and birthday parties.

It is mostly associated with Mexico, but mariachi music has also become popular across many regions of Latin America and beyond, and its groups can be found in major cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Mariachi is native to the state of Jalisco, in the region of western Mexico. Mariachi music developed as a result of the cultural and musical blending of foreign and indigenous music. The earliest documentation of mariachi appears in a letter which was written by priest Cosme Santa Anna in 1852.

During the second half of the 19th century, central-western Mexico was associated with rural fiesta or ‘fandango’ or a form of dance in which couples dance.

Early mariachis used to wear peasant garb. It was only after the revolution of 1910 that they could afford to dress elegantly. They decided to dress in the suit which consisted of tightly-fitted ornamented pants, a short jacket, embroidered belt, boots, wide bow tie, and sombrero — and it was once the attire of wealthy hacienda owners.

Even though mariachis had performed official functions before, they became a symbol of nationalism after the Revolution of 1910. Since Alvaro Obregón’s administration (1920 to 1924), Mexican presidents have used mariachi music for political events. In 2011, mariachi became known as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Mariachi bands are diverse. The players take turns in leading the singing. The origin of the name is unsure, with some thinking it may be a form of the French word for marriage. Mariachi was introduced to the capital in 1905. It is played as far afield as Japan now and is no longer the sole preserve of Mexico. In Los Angeles, there is an 89-piece mariachi band that has shows. It is a popular form of music in movies such as “Desperado” with Antonia Banderas and the 2017 Disney movie, “Coco.”

Source: gob.mx/cultura

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