February 5, Dia de la Constitucion (Constitution Day), commemorates the Constitution of 1917, which came about after the Mexican Civil War. It is always the first Monday of February (regardless of the date) and is an official holiday in Mexico.
'El dia de la Candelaria' is the day of the Candle or Light, known as the Day of Purification (or the Epiphany). That day, the Nativity scene is put away with a party given by the person who got the Baby Jesus in his/her piece of bread during the Rosca de Reyes celebration. This person is responsible for making a 'Ropon' or christening gown for Baby Jesus for the next year's Nativity scene.
And, then, of course, it's Carnaval time in Mexico---a final and often frenzied craze of fun and frivolity before the onset of Lent.
It's time for Mariachi music and some fun. Carnaval, or Mardi Gras, begins on February 15 and runs for nine days. It is a colorful and fun time with parades, entertainment, horses, beautiful senoritas (and a few not-so-beautiful imitators!), handsome caballeros and floats. Boys and men in masks and buxom-y costumes chase young boys along the parade route to shower not only them with flour, but whoever gets in the way of the toss! I have to admit, though, as many of these as I've been to, I've very rarely seen them hit anyone who wasn't part of the frivolity. I've never gotten hit...probably by saying that, however, this will be my year. I'll definitely take a picture for you if it happens!
The reason for the celebration is that beginning on Ash Wednesday, Catholics begin to prepare for the Easter celebration. This is also the time of year when Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays. One Mexicano even referred to Carnaval as a symbolic good-bye party for meat..."you know," he said..."'Carne Va'...meat goes!" I don't know if that's true, but it struck me funny, and as the Mexican people love a good laugh, I can see how this could have a bit of the truth in it!
Carnval is a fun time; very festive and just this side of chaos. Very Mexican. Hope you enjoy.