International Mariachi Week is celebrated every last week of April and this year it be marked from April 21 to 28. This week-long celebration is all about absolutely wonderful musical performances and all-around fun. Though it originated in Mexico, the Mariachi is now recognized globally and is celebrated everywhere, especially in the Americas and Europe. These musical performances are synonymous with celebrations as people usually hire Mariachis to perform at birthdays, weddings, baptisms, funerals, surprise parties, and probably any celebration you can think of. It’s a week of non-stop fun and should be celebrated by everyone.
History of International Mariachi Week
Mariachi is a genre of Mexican music that dates back to the eighteenth century and has evolved over time in the countryside of various regions of Mexico. A typical Mariachi group consists of about eight violins, two trumpets and at least one guitar, including a ‘vihuela’ and an acoustic bass guitar, called a ‘guitarrón.’ The players usually take turns singing lead and doing backup vocals.
Mariachi music originated in Jalisco, Mexico, and was the distinctive version of the Spanish theatrical orchestra of violins, harps, and guitars. The origin of the name ‘Mariachi’ has been disputed over the years, with many believing that it came from the French word for marriage, ‘mariage’. The outfit of the Mariachi was a standard peasant outfit of white pants and shirt but urban mariachis modified their wardrobe in the 1920s when the musical style began to take on national prominence. Its promotion was also boosted by presidential inaugurations and on the radio in the 1920s. From there, it gradually evolved into the Charro outfit used by modern bands. The movies of the 1930s also influenced how the Mariachi dressed as they encouraged a flashy appearance.
In 2011, UNESCO recognized Mariachi as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, joining six other entries on the Mexican list in that category. The Mariachi includes different song styles and instrumentals such as ‘rancheras,’ ‘sones,’ ‘cumbias,’ boleros,’ ‘corridos,’ ‘ballads,’ ‘huapangos,’ ‘jarabes,’ ‘pasodobles,’ ‘danzones,’ ‘joropos,’ ‘marches,’ ‘polkas,’ ‘waltzes,’ and ‘chotís.’ Most song lyrics are about machismo, love, death, betrayal, politics, revolutionary heroes, and country life.
International Mariachi Week timeline
Mariachi music originates in Mexico as a genre performed among the peasants.
The Mariachis modify their wardrobe as their musical style begins to take on national prominence.
Movies of the 1930s era influence the Mariachi to become flashy with their dressing style.
UNESCO recognizes mariachi as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
International Mariachi Week FAQs
What is a Mariachi suit called?
It is called a Charro.
What special occasions use Mariachi music?
The Mariachi is mostly used for occasions such as birthdays, wedding ceremonies, baptisms, and funerals.
What’s the most prevalent Mariachi music genre?
The Mariachi is easily identified for its love song repertoire or ‘serenata’ as they are called.
International Mariachi Week Activities
Learn to play a mariachi instrument
Playing music is a fun activity. By learning to play a Mariachi instrument, you can join others and create a melodious sound.
Order a Mariachi
Order a mariachi for your loved one to celebrate the day. It not only supports the Mariachi but is also a good way to show appreciation for your loved ones.
Visit the birthplace of Mariachi. As Mexico is where Mariachi originated, you’ll find a lot of them there.
5 Intriguing Facts About Mariachi
They have no lead singers
The Mariachi has no lead singers since people are assigned different songs based on their talent and personality.
It's part of the school curriculum
In the U.S., Mariachi is now featured in a good number of school programs, from elementary school to university music.
It’s part of Mass in Mexico
Mariachi music forms part of the Catholic Mass in Mexico.
A Mariachi needs to know various songs
As many of the songs are requested by the people celebrating, a Mariachi needs to know a number of songs.
A strong voice is needed
To play in a Mariachi band, a strong voice is needed because of the loud instruments.
Why We Love International Mariachi Week
It celebrates culture
The Mariachi is a deeply ingrained Mexican culture that now has performers around the world. Whether they are in Mexico or elsewhere, the day raises a toast to these gifted musicians.
It encourages others to take up Mariachi
Seeing Mariachi being celebrated encourages other people to take it up. Whether as a profession or a hobby, mariachi is for everyone.
It brings more awareness to the style of music
The week serves to bring more awareness to Mariachi music. More people that are ignorant of Mariachi music get to see what it is and enjoy it just like Mariachi lovers.
International Mariachi Week dates