Villa Iluminada: Light in a Magical City


Atlixco, a small town about an hour outside of Puebla, is known as a pueblo mágico, or magic town. There are many pueblos mágicos across Mexico, and they each receive that special name for their natural beauty, rich culture and traditions, food, handicrafts and historical importance.

What tradition did I learn about?:

One of Atlixco's many traditions is to host the Villa Iluminada each winter, from November through January. Villa Iluminada translates as Lighted Path. I was lucky enough to go twice this year! Hundreds of people pack the streets to enjoy thousands of decorative light displays, ride carnival rides, listen to music and eat food from dozens of vendors. The lights highlight the historic buildings located in the city, and the event brings people together for cultural, artistic and sportive activities. It is popular with everyone, from young kids to college students to grandparents.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

All across Mexico, communities put on special events called ferias (fairs) to celebrate religious and patriotic holidays. These events bring people together and help parents pass traditions along to their children.