Hidalgo Culture & Famous People

Ignacio Rodríguez Galván Hidalgo

The literary history of Hidalgo extends back to the 19th century with the oldest prominent writers being Ignacio Rodríguez Galván and José María Rodríguez. Rodríguez Galván, considered to be the first Mexican Romance writer, was born in 1816 in Tizayuca. His works include poetry and plays as well as founding the newspaper Año Nuevo or New Year in English. Rodríguez y Cos was born in 1823 in Tulancingo and represents Positivism in Mexico, writing famous poetry and plays.

Efrén Rebolledo

Efrén Rebolledo from Actopán is considered the most important poet of the 20th century; he lived from 1877 to 1929. Other significant writers from this century include Xavier Sorondo, Margarita Michelena, Gabriel Vargas, Ricardo Garibay, Gonzalo Martré and Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa.

Byron Gálvez painting

Prominent painters appear in the 20th century, artists such as Byron Gálvez, José Hernández Delgadillo and Yadira Gutiérrez.

Nicandro Castillo

The most famous musician from Hidalgo is probably Nicandro Castillo, who wrote mostly popular music in the mid 20th century. It was with the group Los Plateados that he became the most famous and some of his music became part of a number of Mexican films, including Cuando habla el corazón, Seda, Así se quiere en Jalisco and sangre y sol.

Other renowned musicians from the state are Abundio Martínez famous for Arpa de Oro, En altamar and Onda cristalina and Demetrio Vite Hernández famous for his songs such as “algo de Hidalgo”, “Orgullo Hidalguense” and “lejos de Hidalgo”

Hidalgo is Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta

By far the most famous celebrity from Hidalgo is Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta, better known as El Santo the wrestler. Guzmán was born in Tulancingo in 1917 and, not only was he Mexico’s best known lucha libre wrestler, he also played a major role in the movies, playing his lucha libre character battling evil like a Mexican version of superman. So dedicated to his role he never took off his mask in public until 1984, just a few weeks before his death.

Xantolo Hidalgo

Like in other places in Mexico, the days around November 2 honor the dead with altars and offerings to those who have passed away, although each community has its own variations on the theme.

Danza de Xantolo

Day of the Dead in Hidalgo is referred to as the “Xantolo” which extends from October 31 to November 2. A place which is well known for its traditions is Huejutla de Reyes, where altars dedicated to the dead are particularly large and generously decorated with flowers, colored paper and traditional foods, with the intention reducing the ritual of mourning the dead. In many of the areas, rituals based on Huasteca traditions are also performed the main being the “Danza de Xantolo” in which masked figures in robes dance around candlelight. In other communities, youths in costume will dance from house to house, similar to the trick-or-treating which takes place north of the border, the kids hope to be invited in to eat or meet the families. Another popular tradition during Xantolo is to have bands playing at cemeteries on November 2, at which time the tombs are cleaned and decorated with garlands, flowers and more.

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