Mexico City EventsFlower-garlanded cows, beribboned dogs and cats and irreverent roosters are paraded on Jan. 17 for the Feast of San Antonio de Abad, or the “blessing of the animals.” This whimsical ceremony takes place at the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Zócalo. Holy Week (Semana Santa) celebrations begin on Palm Sunday and are most prominent on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
On May 1, Labor Day (Día del Trabajo), the president reviews a huge parade of workers from the central balcony of the National Palace . For the Feast of Corpus Christi, families dress children in native costumes or their Sunday best and gather at the Metropolitan Cathedral for a priest's blessing. The date is variable, occurring between late May and mid-June.
The fall of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan to Hernando Cortés and his followers is remembered Aug. 2 on Cuauhtémoc Day. Dances and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Plaza of the Three Cultures and the Cuauhtémoc Statue at the intersection of Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Insurgentes honor the last Aztec emperor.
Father Miguel Hidalgo's “El Grito de Dolores,” the rallying cry of Mexican independence, is repeated by the president of Mexico and echoed by hundreds of thousands on the evening of Sept. 15 in Plaza Constitución (the Zócalo ). One of the year's biggest events, it is nationally televised. A morning military parade on Independence Day, Sept. 16, proceeds from the Zócalo to the Independence Monument , past buildings draped with streamers in the national colors of red, green and white.
Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) on Oct. 12 commemorates Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas. Families build altars in their homes and decorate the graves of loved ones with extravagant flower garlands to celebrate the Day of the Dead on Nov. 1. Revolution Day, Nov. 20, features a spirited downtown parade along avenidas Madero and Juárez and Paseo de la Reforma and other things to do to commemorate the start of the Revolution of 1910.
The venerated Virgin of Guadalupe, the country's patron saint, is the focal point of a nationwide celebration of dancing, fireworks and religious processions on Dec. 12, the Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Devout believers from throughout Mexico make the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe , in the northern suburb of Villa de Guadalupe. The city is decorated in high style for the 9 days leading up to Christmas, a time devoted to traditional re-enactments of the Holy Family's search for an inn (posada).
Mexico City, DF
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2,240 meters (7,347 feet)
Secretaría de Turismo (SECTUR) headquarters, Presidente Masaryk #172; phone (55) 3002-6300 (English spoken). Persons needing legal assistance should contact this department at the Ministry of Tourism.
Dial 060 and ask to be connected to an English-speaking operator if you need immediate assistance.
In general, the police in Mexico City should be contacted only as a last resort. If your car is stolen, however, you must report it to the police, as you will be liable for any subsequent crimes in which the vehicle is involved.
Paseo de la Reforma #305 (M: Sevilla or Insurgentes, line 1); phone (55) 5080-2000. The embassy is open for general business Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30; closed U.S. and Mexican holidays. There is a protection officer on 24-hour duty to advise you in the event of robbery, assault, major loss, accident, illness or death; Mexican law takes precedence in such instances. Information regarding attorneys and translators also can be obtained.
Calle Schiller #529, just north of the National Museum of Anthropology (M: Auditorio, line 7); phone (55) 5724-7900. Open Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5; closed Canadian and Mexican holidays.
Phone (55) 5658-1111. This government-operated agency can help coordinate a search for missing persons or lost, stolen or towed vehicles; the hotline is answered daily 24 hours. The LOCATEL office is in the southern suburb of Churubusco at Calle Heroes del 47 #113, 3 blocks south of the National Museum of Interventions; phone (55) 5484-0400.
Consumer Protection Offic
Contact the Consumer Protection Office (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, or PROFECO) if you feel that you've been cheated or ripped off regarding a service or purchase; phone (55) 5625-6700 or 01 (800) 468-8722 (toll-free long distance within Mexico).
The ABC Medical Center (Centro Médico ABC) is several blocks south of Chapultepec Park at Calle Sur #116, at Avenida Observatorio (M: Observatorio, line 1); phone (55) 5230-8000. All major credit cards are accepted. The Mexican Red Cross (Cruz Roja) is located at Calle Luis Vives #200, between Avenida Ejército Nacional and Avenida Homero (north of Chapultepec Park in the Polanco neighborhood). It is open 24 hours; phone (55) 1084-4505.
Local Phone Calls
All calls made from landlines are charged as local calls. Prior to Jan. 1, 2015, there was a separate price structure for long-distance calls (designated by the acronym LADA, or larga distancia). There also are no long-distance cellphone charges; dialing either a local cell number or a long-distance cell number from a landline is charged as a local call. Calls made to a cell number must include the prefix 044.
The News is an English-language newspaper published Monday through Friday in Mexico City. Major U.S. newspapers are available at many newsstands the day after they are printed.
Av. Presidente Masaryk #172 Mexico City, DF . Phone:(55)3002-6300
The rates charged by banks and casas de cambio (currency exchange houses) don't differ that much, so currency exchange is a matter of convenience. Most banks exchange currency Mon.-Fri. 9-noon, but you may have to wait in line; exchange houses often are open weekdays until 5 and may be open Saturdays as well. Exchange houses and ATMs are concentrated along Paseo de Reforma, in the Centro Histórico and in the Zona Rosa. The Sanborns chain of restaurants also provides ATMs.
Street crime—from relatively benign offenses like pickpocketing and purse snatching to dangerous armed robbery—is an ever-present risk. No part of the city is immune, even the upscale Polanco neighborhood and other areas frequented by tourists. One way to avoid being mugged or robbed is not to wear expensive jewelry or watches.