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Mexican Christmas Traditions

LIFESTYLE | Published on 09/12/2022
Optimizada mexican christmas traditions

December is finally here and instantaneously everything smells and feels like Christmas. Families have already begun putting up their Christmas trees and decorating their homes together using Christmas lights, candy boots, Santa figures, reindeer, snowmen, goblins, and other Christmas decorations.

The facades and interiors of hotels, restaurants, and all kinds of businesses are also filled with pepper lights, beautifully decorated Christmas trees plus Christmas wreaths on their doors, etc. Although these traditions are common around the world, let's look at some of the most common Mexican Christmas traditions!

Christmas Parties called "Posadas"

Who doesn't like a holiday party? Mexican posadas are basically holiday parties that take place during the Christmas season. They bear that name because it commemorates Mary and Joseph's journey to find an inn for the birth of Jesus.

The attendees of these Christmas parties in Mexico are divided into two groups, one group on the outside, who holds lit candles in their hands and chants a song to ask for entry into the inn, and the other group on the inside denies entry also through songs. However, eventually, they let them in while everyone rejoices.

In addition to these songs, these Mexican celebrations have many traditional elements. Some of these are the breaking of piñatas with blindfolds – usually, piñatas are filled with mandarins, sugar cane, candies, and other sweets and fruits – drinking hot Christmas fruit punch, eating tamales, buñuelos, and other Mexican delicacies.

The Pilgrimage

This Mexican Christmas tradition holds tremendous significance among its people. As you know, many Mexicans are fervent believers in the Virgin of Guadalupe. Between December 1 to 12, groups of different organizations, companies, and institutions march through the streets to churches dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe in some cities in Mexico.

Along the way, they sing songs in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe and some perform prehispanic dances. This combination is not unusual; as in many Mexican celebrations, these festivities are a mixture of cultural manifestations with different nuances, a product of the fusion of pre-Hispanic traditions and those of Hispanic colonizers.

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

The Pilgrimage 12-day celebrations culminate on December 12, the day dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe throughout Mexico. On this day the last pilgrimage is made, but not because they are the last means they are the least important. On the contrary, being the anniversary of the Virgin of Guadalupe, this day they parade great contingents of uninterrupted form to render honors to the virgin. These festivities include prayers, songs, and flowers, to finally sing “Las Mañanitas” to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

The Births "Nacimientos"

A characteristic ornament of Christmas in Mexico is the “Nacimientos”, which represents Jesus' birth with painted clay figurines. The figures represent the characters that were supposed to be present during the birth of Jesus: Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the donkey that carried them, the three wise men, shepherds, their sheep, some other farm animals, angels, and, in some cases, even the devil hidden in a corner.

Of course, the main character is baby Jesus, but that figure is not placed until December 24 at 12 midnight, when a family member—usually one of the little ones—will have the honor of placing baby Jesus in the manger. "Nacimientos" is definitely an essential part of how Mexico celebrates Christmas.

The Nativity Play "Pastorelas"

This is one of the Mexican Christmas traditions that might just be unique in the world. These are dark comedic plays in which after a series of incidents, the characters come to witness the birth of Jesus. These are usually people who are tempted by the devil, but with the help of the angels and their good judgment they end up making the right choices to experience a wonderful Christmastime.

How does Mexico celebrate Christmas?

At last, after all that series of Christmas festival events and Mexican celebrations, Christmas Eve arrives. On December 24 in the evening, families gather for a traditional dinner, which usually includes pork leg or baked turkey, a sweet salad where vegetables and fruits are mixed, rolls, buñuelos, and Christmas drinks. At 12 midnight everyone shares hugs and wishes for a Merry Christmas. Some families also exchange gifts, usually after dinner.

Finally, on December 25 in the morning, children open their gifts and usually spend the day playing with them; this day is officially considered Christmas in Mexico. Some families gather again for Christmas dinner leftovers.

Villa La Estancia Riviera Nayarit has curated a wonderful Christmastime ambiance. This Christmas season features two dinners at La Casona Restaurant, a 4-course dinner with live music by saxophone on Saturday, December 24 for Christmas Eve, and a 5-course dinner with piano music on December 25 on Christmas Day, both are included with our Food Plan and the All Inclusive Packages.

Now that you know how unique and special these Mexican celebrations are, it's time to book your Christmas holiday vacation and your Christmas dinner with us. You'll love experiencing Christmas in Mexico!

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