8 Traditions and Customs of Nayarit - science - 2023



Nayarit It is a Mexican state made up of twenty municipalities, whose capital is Tepic. In the Uto-Aztec language Nayarit means "Son of God who is in heaven and in the sun." Its population is mainly of indigenous roots, among which tribes such as the Huicholes, Coras and Tepehuanos can be highlighted.

The climate that predominates in Nayarit throughout the year is warm, giving rise to tourism as an important part of its economy. Nayarit has a good diversity of customs and traditions, such as different types of clothing, folk genres and annual celebrations.

Featured traditions and customs of Nayarit

Within the culture of the area belonging to the municipality, the following can be highlighted:

Nayarita syrup

Within the musical genre, the Jarabe Nayarita stands out. It is said that the Jarabe Nayarita is a “mestizo” rhythm since it is a mixture of both Spanish and indigenous cultures.

This rhythm represents daily life situations, and their clothing varies according to the folk group (especially in men).

Typical dish: Fish Zarandeado

Besides tourism, fishing is part of the economy of Nayarit. The Zarandeado Fish is a typical dish from the island of Mexcaltitán (a town in the Santiago Ixcuintla municipality).

This dish consists of fish cut open in the shape of a butterfly and then bathed in sauce (Maggi juice, lemon, salt, pepper, orange juice and Ketchup).

Nayarit Fair

The Nayarit Fair is an annual event that has been held in Tepic since 1989. Originally this event was called “Feria de la Mexicanidad”, passing by other names such as “Feria Nacional Tepic” and “Festival Internacional Amado Nervo”; until in 2012 it was changed to “Feria Nayarit”.

This event takes place two weeks before Easter, and has various activities such as games, concerts, rodeos, exhibitions (livestock and indigenous), among others.

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is celebrated in various countries around the world (between November 1 and 2), the tradition is of Mexican origin.

In Nayarit, this event is celebrated with altars prepared to invite the dead who come from heaven to visit their families. Clay pots with food inside (rice, tequila, fruits, sweets, etc.) are placed on the altars.

Other important symbols are that of containers with water and candles. The first in order that the spirits can purify themselves; the second, symbolizing the struggle between the light and the darkness of death.

National Spring Fair

Once a year, thousands of people gather in the city of Santiago Ixcuintla to celebrate the “National Spring Fair”. This event of religious origin has been celebrated since 1953, and lasts for 15 days.

During the day, activities such as open-air theater, musical shows and dances, commerce, gastronomy, and other branches belonging to the regional economy (fishing and livestock) are carried out.

Change of Wands

Also known as a ‘change of power’, it is an indigenous ritual in which various tribes exchange sticks as a sign of respect and social cohesion.

It is a traditional festival that has been maintained since its inception and in which the details of the costumes and masks of the Indaicos can be appreciated.

National holidays

As in the rest of the country, throughout September a series of celebrations are held to commemorate the struggle for Mexican independence.

In general, in the municipality of Ruíz, events are organized over several days and nights that include concerts, social, artistic or even sports events.

Elote Fair

Jala is one of the most beautiful municipalities in Nayarit. Its Ceboruco volcano is impressive while the locals enjoy the Elote Fair, dedicated to corn, one of the country's food bases.

Producers from all over the country meet in the municipality to show their crops and news in the sector.


  1. Pacheco, Lourdes C. (2002). Education that silences: indigenous education in Nayarit. Nayarit, Mexico: Univ. Autónoma de Nayarit.
  2. Jean Meyer. (2005). Brief History of Nayarit. México DF, México: Colegio de México, Trust History of the Americas.