Mexico: Lonely Planet Guide.
The works of female composer Consuelito Velazquez ('Besame mucho').
Javier Solis (mariachis).
Josť Alfredo Jimenez (mariachis).
Luis Miguel (pop).
30,000 years BC: human presence on Mexican land.
5,000 years BC: first corn and bean cultivation.
2,500 / 1,500 BC: the appearance of pottery and the end of the archaic period.
1,500 / 600 BC: the Olmec civilisation was the first great Meso-American civilisation.
2nd-8th century: Teotihuacan civilisation.
3rd-10th century: Maya civilisation in the south of Mexico and Guatemala.
15th century: Aztec empire domination.
1519: Cortez touches ground in Veracuz. Beginning of Spanish conquest.
1521: Tenochtitlan is seized, end of the Aztec empire.
1810: beginning of the war for independence.
1821: proclamation of independence by Agustin de Iturbide.
1833-1855: dictatorship of General Santa Anna. Loss of Texas, California and Arizona.
1864: conquest of Mexico by Napoleon III. Reign of archduke Maximilien de Habsbourg, before he was executed in 1867.
1872-1911: dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, beginning of industrialization.
1911-1923: Mexican revolution: 1 million people die.
1919: Assassination of Emiliano Zapata.
1923: assassination of Pancho Villa.
1926-1934: dictatorship of General Plutarco Elias Calles.
1926-1929: the 'cristeros' rebellion: the civil war between seculars and fanatic Christians ends with tens of thousands of people dead.
1934: Lazaro Cardenas is elected president. The country regains stability.
1968: Olympic Games in Mexico City. Students' demonstrations, massacre of Three-Culture square.
1981-1987: oil crisis, economic recession.
1985: earthquake in Mexico, 20,000 dead.
1994: Zapatista Indian uprising. Ernesto Zedillo is elected president.
2000: presidential elections. After more than 70 years of unshared power, the IRP, Institutional Revolutionary Party, is beaten by the opposition candidate of the PAN (centre-right wing), Vincent Fox.
2006: victory of conservative Felipe Calderon for president.
Mexico is a pious country and eminently festive. The religious calendar is laden with popular festivals and highly colourful processions.
New Year's Day.
Dias de los Reyes (Twelfth night).
Carnivals of Vera Cruz and Merida.
Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter, the most important celebration in Mexico.
Cancun jazz festival (variable dates).
Dia de la Santa Cruz (day of the Holy Cross).
Cinco de Mayo. Anniversary of the victory of Puebla over the French.
St John the Baptist celebrations.
Informe Presidencial (the president's annual speech to Congress). Bank holiday.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead/All Saints).
Celebrations for the Virgin of Guadelupe, patron saint of Mexico.
Posadas, commemorations of the journey to Bethlehem.
Navidad (Christmas Day).