A Guide to Planning Your Visit for the Huamantla Fair

United States By Jessica Houseman July 22, 2022

Huamantla is one of Mexico’s 132 officially designated “Magical Towns,” proudly showcasing its beautiful architectural structures, historical haciendas, and its celebration in honor of the Virgin of Charity.

 

August in Mexico is often comfortably cool and is a slow season for tourism, so lodging and accommodation may cost less than usual making it the perfect time to visit!

 

Getting to and around Huamantla

Huamantla is in the east of Tlaxcala, which is about two hours from Mexico City and one hour from the capital of Puebla. Taking the bus is the most economical way to get to the city. Autobus Supra operates a schedule leaving hourly, while Autotransportes Tlaxcala, Apizaco, Huamantla, S.A. de C.V. services the route every two hours.

 

The main square of Huamantla is home to the Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum), The Huamantla Cultural Center with eight halls dedicated to temporary exhibits and workshops, and the Rosete Aranda National Puppet Museum. Modern Mexican puppetry can be traced to Huamantla due entirely to the Rosete Aranda family traveling puppet show that toured for over a century. The museum showcases puppets, sets, and other paraphernalia from the Aranda family as well as other puppeteers from Mexico and other countries. Check out La Malinche National Park, home to an extinct volcano. Summit the 4,420 meters of one of Mexico’s oldest volcanoes or enjoy a more leisurely walk or picnic.

Enjoying the Local Cuisine

The culinary richness of Huamantla revolves around corn and pulque. Tlaxcala means “place of corn or maize tortillas” and is a staple of a Mexican diet. Mueganos, a traditional candy prepared with dough similar to fritter and often covered in caramel, originated here in 1938. This dessert is one you won’t be able to get enough of!

 

Check out several haciendas where you can learn about the history of pulque, a fermented drink made from the sap of agave (maguey), most similar to kombucha. Pulque has a reputation as the “drink of the gods” and was reserved for gods and priests during the Aztec era. It takes 12 years to mature enough sap to make pulque. Haciendas Soltepac, Tenexac, and Casa Malinche offer experiences that transport you back in time to witness the process behind pulque.

 

A Magical Town

The Huamantla Fair pays homage to Xochiquetzal, the goddess of love, flowers, and arts. The fair runs for about two weeks from August 3 until August 21 and consists of two main events: the creation of tapetes and the running of the bulls, called Huamantlada.

 

Tapetes or sawdust carpets consisting of colorful flower petals, colored sawdust, and other materials are made daily in the atrium of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad by local artisans. The artisans change the designs daily and they are dedicated to the image of the Virgin Mary.

 

Come sundown on August 14, the La Noche Qua Nadie Durme (The Night That No One Sleeps) begins highlighting the 6-8 km of city streets decorated with beautiful tapetes. Each carpet is designed and organized by local committees generally taking around three months to plan. The tapetes are admired by residents and visitors until the procession of La Virgen de la Caridad, which starts around midnight. During the procession, which features a young woman chosen to represent the patron saint The Virgin of Charity, a carriage passes over the tapetes to the church. The procession takes all night to complete and is followed by a mass. Prepare for the all-night festivities with an afternoon siesta!

 

The Huamantlada held on August 19 is the Tlaxcaltecan version of the running of the bulls.  Approximately 10 to 25 fighting bulls and hundreds of young men from Tlaxcala as well as all over the country meet in the streets. Around noon, two rockets are set off as they release the young bulls. The Huamantlada also includes a traditional carnival, classic car racing, art exhibitions, and a large market featuring local artisan goods. An estimated 300,000 visitors from across Mexico and the world visit Huamantla every year.

 

Send Yourself Money Ahead

Make sure you plan ahead while traveling and download the Western Union app to send cross-border money transfers to yourself while visiting. Use the app or website to find locations to pick up cash to use while enjoying your visit. Sending and receiving money with Western Union is simple and fast, and trusted worldwide.