The Jarabe Tapatío: From cultural rebellion to cultural pride

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

The Jarabe Tapatío is one of the most recognizable Mexican tunes. Commonly known as the Mexican Hat Dance, the Jarabe Tapatío originated as a courtship dance.  The dance begins when a man dressed in a traditional charro outfit invites a woman dressed in a china poblana outfit to dance around a sombrero he sets on the floor.  The dance ends when the woman picks up the sombrero to cover her face and his, suggesting the couple kisses to seal their courtship.  

It is believed this type of dance originated during the Mexican War of Independence in the late 18th century, as a dance of rebellion. A ‘“jarabe”, originally means “herb mixture”, and this song takes its name from combining several other dances of the time. Around the 1860s, Jesús González Rubio, a music professor in the Mexican state of Jalisco, created the Jarabe Tapatío as a way to unify the country with one song. Tapatío is a term used to refer to people and things from Guadalajara, in Jalisco.

Today, the song has become synonymous with Mexican cultural pride, livening up gatherings in Mexico and wherever Mexicans and lovers of Mexican culture can be found. In honor of the song and its significance, Canticos has developed its own version to share the song with this generation of Spanish-speaking kids to help them learn about and celebrate their heritage through the power of music. 

The Jarabe Tapatío/Weather the Weather song is a bilingual song to help kids learn about the weather in Spanish and English. The song’s lyrics help preschoolers learn concepts like sunshine, rain, fog, and wind. In the video, the Little Chickies: Ricky, Nicky, and Kiki, have fun no matter what the weather brings their way. And when the wind blows their sombrero away, they joyfully run after it as they continue to play.

And it is with such joy that we hope you and your young bilingual learners will enjoy Canticos’ Jarabe Tapatío video. You can also stream the bilingual song on Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify.

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