Credit: Alfredo Estrella/Afp/Getty Images
1. THREE KINGS FESTIVAL
January 6, Mexico City
Eaten to celebrate the Epiphany, the wreath-shaped rosca de reyes, or king’s ring, is baked with a figurine inside. Whoever finds it must host a party on Candelmas Day, February 2. In Mexico City’s zócalo, or main square, 200,000 portions are doled out, made with more than 1,700 pounds of butter.
2. ICE CREAM FESTIVAL
March 22, Tulyehualco
The pre-Hispanic people of Tulyehualco, now part of Mexico City, harvested ice from nearby snow-capped volcanoes to make frozen treats. At this 127-year-old fair, more than 80 ice cream producers pay homage to the tradition, offering flavors ranging from mango and lime to sweet mole.
Credit: Courtesy of Office of Social
Communication Xochimilco Mexico City
3. CORN AND TORTILLA FAIR
May, Santiago Tepalcatlalpan
In Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City where farmers grow corn on man-made islands called chinampas, this annual fair celebrates Mexico’s staple grain. Along with tortillas, visitors sample foods like tlacoyos (masa cakes stuffed with beans and other ingredients); ponteduros, a honey-and-cornmeal candy; and esquites, kernels fried in butter with chili powder and epazote.
4. VANILLA FESTIVAL
Early summer, Papantla
At the annual Corpus Christi festival in Veracruz, food stalls overflow with fragrant vanilla pods and bottles of extract, vanilla-flavored ice pastries, and xanat (vanilla liqueur). A highlight is the Dance of the Voladores, acrobats who suspend themselves from a 100-foot pole and twirl midair to music.
5. APPLE FAIR
This Pueblan town fetes its diverse apple crop—from the tart, green-striped rayada, to sweet, golden peruana varieties. Attendees savor treats like manzana hojaldra, a flaky apple tart. The fair culminates in a parade of floats from which hundreds of apples are thrown to the crowd.