Skip to content
History Of Mariachi Bands In Mexican Festivities - Mexicada

History Of Mariachi Bands In Mexican Festivities

When Sombreros, Strumming and Serenades Collide

Imagine a scene with a hundred colourful balloons lifting off into a deep blue sky, painted with strokes of puffy white clouds. Below, a swirling melee of vibrant skirts, agile dancers, delicious aromas of simmering frijoles and roasting elote, and in the middle of it all, a merry band of misfits, their fingers running over guitar, violin and trumpet strings like a maestro conductor, all dressed in ornately adorned silver studded charro outfits. Suddenly, the loud, joyful blast of trumpets cuts through the festive air, demanding everyone's attention, and you know it's time for a mariachi fiesta!

Winding Back the Clock on Mariachi

Beginning in the 18th century, Mariachi bands started strumming their way into town squares across Mexico as a symbol of joy and festivity. Initially, these musical groupings played for weddings and village parties, strumming local traditional tunes and performing folk dances. These bands comprised primarily of string instruments, with a few wind instruments sprinkled in for good measure. The instruments they played? Violins, harps, and the vihuela, which kind of looks like a love child between a guitar and a ukulele. Trumpets were a later addition, but did they make an entrance or what? Just like an overdressed uncle arriving at a family reunion, when trumpets sauntered into the Mariachi band, boy, did they steal the show!

The Fiesta Evolution and Mariachi's Role

Mexican festivities witnessed an amplification in the late 19th century, fuelled by an increased audience and newer, bigger celebrations at public squares. And as the saying goes, "no moment is truly special without a soundtrack," Mariachi music became the pulsating heartbeat of the gatherings. The Mariachi band's role amplified from merely being party entertainers to the guardians of Mexican musical traditions, regaling the crowds with the familiar folk tunes that had been passed on through generations. The serenades of love, stories of passion and tales of heroism penned by their ancestors found a new lease of life in Mariachi music, becoming much more than just a backdrop to the festivities.

The Musical Instrument Rodeo

No, you’re not on the set of a Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western film when you see a Mariachi band. Rodeo? More likely, but no. You see, much like a roving band of cowboys (and girls), each member of a Mariachi band has an instrument that they've tamed and ride into the musical sunset. Yes, we've mentioned violins, guitars, trumpets, and the vihuela (remember that love child?), but let's not forget about the guitarrón, the slightly overweight granddaddy of the guitar clan who brings the bass to the party. Defying the sands of time, these old-world instruments have stuck around to create that distinct mariachi sound that can get pints raised and hearts soaring.

Mariachi – Cowboys With Rhythm

And let's not overlook the charro attire! Far more than a fancy dress code, the charro outfit is the epitome of cowboy swag with a Mexican flair. From the wide-brimmed sombrero that casts an air of mystery over their eyes (and keeps the sunburn at bay), to the snug silver studded suits that make everyone sparkle like they’ve just dropped from a mariachi spaceship. And don't even get us started on the ties! Any tie that involves a giant bow already wins in our book! It's this style that gives Mariachi bands their iconic appearance, taking the cowboy aesthetic and turning it up to eleven. Or should we say....up to "Juan"?

Mariachi & Cinco De Mayo – A Love Story

Fast-forward to the 21st century, mariachi bands continue to bring the party to festivities across the globe, especially during one of the biggest Mexican celebrations: Cinco De Mayo. No, not a tribute to jars of mayonnaise (we did the fact-checking for you so don't worry), but an annual event held on May 5 that celebrates the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. And what better way to remember the event than with a band of musical warriors armed with stringed weapons? Just as the Mexican Army didn’t allow those French forces to crash the party all those years ago, Mariachi bands today won’t let a good party happen without the rhythm of resounding trumpets and the strumming of guitar strings filling the air.

Partying Like it’s 1899

So next time you're twirling about the dance floor at a Mexican festival, don't forget to tip your sombrero to the Mariachi band. Their musical journey has taken them from village parties to international stages, from simple acoustic strummers to the pulsating heartbeat of Mexico's biggest celebrations. They're not just playing music; they're preserving history, sharing stories, and, most importantly, keeping the party vibe alive. Long live the Mariachi!

Keep Calm and Mariachi On

It's been centuries since the first mariachi bands strummed their way into the heart of Mexico's culture. And regardless of how contemporary the world is going now, the foot-tapping rhythm of mariachi isn't going anywhere, much like that 200-year-old bottle of tequila at the back of your grandpa's cupboard. So, whether you're gyrating at a gig, partaking in a traditional Mexican festival, or even attending a fancy gala (it's happened!), there's no suitor more suitable for your ears than a mariachi band. And if you are thinking of a playlist for your private party, mariachi music got your dancing shoes covered.

Mariachi: Spicing Up Your Playlist

Next time you're DJing and keen to serve your audience something with a little spice, don't stress about whether the Gangnam Style is still a hit. Instead, unleash the wild rhythm of a mariachi track. Watch as everyone, from toddlers to octogenarians, are set course on a one-way ticket to boogie-ville. And yes, that includes your Grandma with her walker who suddenly finds the pace of a salsa dancer. Seriously, if happiness had a soundtrack, Mariachi would be it!

Mariachi and Taco Tuesdays: A Match Made in Heaven

So, next time you're chowing down on your Taco Tuesday delicacies, add a sprinkle of mariachi music to those Crunchwrap Supremes and experience the magic. They say happiness comes from good food and great music. If that is true, not many things pair as perfectly as mariachis and mexican cuisine. It's like a burst of Jalapeño on your palate, spiking the flavors, and creating a true Mexican fiesta right at your home.

Inviting Mariachi into Your Home

But don't just limit your fiestas to a random Taco Tuesday. Thanks to the magic of digital platforms, we can now bring the full splendor of this vibrant, energetic, and soulful music tradition into our homes. That's right, no frilly dresses or cowboy boots required (unless that's your thing, of course). Dive into the depths of colourful culture and the boisterous music of Mexico with a simple search on your music app. No more 'despacito', it's time for a mariachi-over (wink).

Mariachi Bands: Playing the Strings of Our Hearts

So, the next time the trumpets and guitars strum up in the heart of a lively Mexican fiesta or even out of your speakers, remember, you're not just hearing music. You're hearing history, culture, tradition, and love for life being played out in the most spectacular way possible. The mariachi bands, wearing their heart on their charro sleeves, strumming notes to celebrate life, love and festivity, continue to be the soul of every celebration, the rhythm of every party and most importantly, the soundtrack to remembrance, resilience and revelry. That's the true spirit of Mariachi, and long may it reign!

Mexico's Best Fiesta Favorites

Top-Trending Gift Ideas

Previous article Family Activities For La Candelaria

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields