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Toluca

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Toluca officially called Toluca de Lerdo , is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located 63 kilometres  west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the western edge of the Distrito Federal. According to the 2010 census, the city of Toluca has a population of 819,561. The city is the fifth largest in Mexico in population. The municipality of Toluca, along with twelve other municipalities, make up the metropolitan population of 1,610,786 in Greater Tolucaas of 2005, making it the fifth most populous metropolitan area in Mexico.

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When Toluca was founded by the Matlatzincas, its original name was Nepintahihui (land of corn, tierra del maíz). The current name is based on the Náhuatl name for the area when it was renamed by the Aztecs in 1473. The name has its origin in the word tolocan that comes from the name of the god, Tolo, plus the locative suffix, can, to denote “place of Tolo”. It is also referred to in a number of Aztec codices as Tolutépetl, meaning hill of the god, Tolo, an allusion to the nearby volcano. The name Toluca de Lerdo was adopted in 1861 in honor of President Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada.

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Under the Köppen climate classification, Toluca features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb). The climate is cool and humid with high humidity, rainfall and occasional hail in the summer. Freezing temperatures are common during winter. Toluca’s climate is the coolest of any large Mexican city due to its altitude (2,680 metres (8,793 ft) above sea level) Winter nights are cold and the temperature may drop below 0 °C (32 °F). Throughout the year, the temperature is rarely below −3 °C (27 °F) or above 27 °C (81 °F).

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The climate is prone to extended dry periods particularly in the winter. The rainy season extends from June to October. Just outside the heavily industrialized city, the municipality has forests with oak, pine, fir, cedar, cypress, acacia and other flora, characteristic of the temperate zone of central Mexico.

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Toluca is home to a series of traditional festivities such as the typical solemn “silent procession” that takes place every Holy Friday when the Catholic congregation from Toluca and its surroundings get together in the centre of the city to express their respect and devotion for Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Easter and Lent are celebrated in a similar way.

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Currently there are two official orchestras: a State one and a Municipal one. The one from the State is the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. Higher education institutions have marching bands, and in some towns there are wind bands.

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The dancing institutions include the Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura, the IMSS, and DIF. There are also schools of dance such as the Escuela de Bellas Artes and the UAEM.

There is also a youth marching band of Toluca called “Eagles of Anahuac”. This band was formed about 35 years ago and was the first youth marching band in the country.

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