February 5th is Mexican Constitution Day, commemorating the day the Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos was signed in 1917. Nowadays, the official observance is on the first Monday in February, which in 2023 is February 6th, so that Mexican citizens can enjoy a long weekend of festivities.
Drafted in the State of Querétaro by a constitutional convention during the Mexican Revolution, the Mexican Constitution is a product of the culture and the time in which it was written. The government envisaged in the Mexican Constitution is an activist state, dedicated to bringing about social justice among its citizens. And though it has been amended hundreds of times, it continues to govern Mexico today.
The Mexican Constitution spells out the same basic rights as the U.S. Constitution – freedom of speech, religion, petition, and legal rights – yet it goes further, guaranteeing Mexicans the right to a good job (Article 123), decent housing, and health protection and care. And the aforementioned Article 123 spells out workers’ rights in detail. But it also clearly spells out the duties of Mexican citizens, as well as non-Mexicans living in Mexico.
Since the celebration of Constitution Day is a public holiday in Mexico, most businesses, schools, banks, and government offices will be closed on Monday. Parades are held throughout the country, often featuring marching bands, and colorful costumes – and there’s no shortage of banners and flags of green, white, and red adorning buildings and streets.
As one of the most important festivals in the country, this is also a time when many Mexicans make the most of the long weekend, celebrating the holiday with friends and family and enjoying the festivities with traditional food, live music, dancing, and plenty of pride and honor.