Under close examination, Tampico is a marvel. Here – apart from slew of modern-day adventure tours, great museums and white water rafting – a strong French influence pervades this busy city by the sea. But its place in the history of Mexico is arguably its most special attribute.
A city renowned for its tradition and customs, locals like to brag and show off their extensive menu of food fit for every particular occasion. And the city’s gastronomy occupies a prominent place in its social climate – given its cattle tradition and maritime coast. Carne asada a la Tampiquena, roast pork, kid al pastor, stuffed gorditas, pork tamales and baked kid only forms part of the modern-day pallette.
This strong cultural influence, however, also permeates throughout the annual events calendar. The Celebration of Xantolo, in particular, takes place in the month of November. During this time every home is decked with an altar in an arch made of flowers, wherein a photo of a relative and an image of a saint would be placed. This harvest celebration has ancient roots, as its name dates to the Conquest. The word Xantolo explicitly stems from the Latin sanctorum, honoring some of November’s Holy Days: All Saints Day; the feast day of Saint Andrew, patron of performers; and feast day of Saint Cecilia, the patron of musicians.
Of all the things to do in Tampico, however, the Agricultural and Livestock Fair and Exhibition is a highlight – The state’s coat of arms even depicts Tamaulipas’ agricultural and livestock prosperity! Held in March of every year, here, you can find bullfights, horse races and an exhibition of its most sensational regional products.