Fiestas, celebrations and festivals on Holbox

Festivals and Celebrations

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Since Holbox was originally a small fishing village and fishing has survived despite the emergence of tourism, most festivities are related to fishing. The most important event of the year is probably the celebration in honor of the patron saint San Telmo.

However, there are also several large fishing tournaments with over 5,000 participants, such as the Torneo de Pesca Chendorito or the Torneo de Pesca Don Nain Moguel Ordaz. The prize money for the best anglers is very high by Mexican standards, which is why the crowds are enormous. The first places are awarded with small vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles, televisions and bicycles.

And as usual in Mexico, each of these events always culminates in a big party celebrated on the beach or at the main square of Holbox.

Fiesta Patronal de San Pedro González Telmo

San Telmo is the patron saint of the fishermen of Isla Holbox. In his honor, there is an annual celebration that begins on April 4 and culminates on April 14. The celebrations begin first in a small circle of families in the homes of the locals with dishes of seafood shared among themselves.

The main square of Holbox is decorated with flags and garlands and numerous street stalls are set up. At these there are games for children and adults, products from the region, as well as handicrafts and many other things usually found at a fair.

On the last day, in honor of the patron saint San Telmo, there is a large procession on land and water, carrying the statue of the saint through the village until it is returned to the shrine, which is clearly visible near the beach throughout the year. As is customary on Holbox, the celebration culminates in a huge fiesta in the main square, with lots of food and drink, loud music and boisterous dancing that lasts until the wee hours of the morning.

The Origin of San Telmo

The story of the patron saint San Telmo has its origins in 13th century Spain. The preacher of that time, Peter González, during the campaigns of King Ferdinand III of Castile, dedicated himself to the Spanish sailors who could not visit churches. He visited them directly on their ships and preached the Gospel there. After his death on April 15, 1246, he was credited with numerous miracles, so he was proclaimed a saint.

However, at that time there was already a saint for the seafarers, the third century martyr Erasmus of Formia, who was also called Elmo or Ermo, which resulted in the mixing of the two names throughout history.