Christmas holidays are a very special celebration in Mexico; we make it a whole month’s tradition! As all holidays have their historical background, so do every country’s practices. Mexico’s traditions started when Catholicism arrived during colonization in the sixteenth century. Spanish priests brought many different Christian holidays that are still celebrated today, including Christmas.
The different celebrations kick off with “Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe” (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe), celebrated on December 12th. In the first 12 days of the month, Mexican pilgrims from all over the country travel to the famous Basilica de Guadalupe, a church located in Mexico City, or to the nearest cathedral dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. What makes the church in Mexico City especially important for pilgrims is the fact that la Virgen Morena (the Virgin Mary) is located there. After the ceremonial day, fireworks are set off and parades fill the streets with live musical performances to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Deliciously warm and sweet foods keep these festivities going. Buñuelos are sold by the dozen all around the street and gives you a warm, homey feel when you realize that the vendors families’ made them at home to sell to the rest of the community.
The weeks between the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Christmas are filled with posadas from the 16th to the 24th of December. During these days, people walk from door to door singing the traditional “Las Posadas” song. Each night, the processions end at a different house for a fiesta (party), with a ton of food, drinks, and piñatas for everyone to enjoy.
One of the most celebrated traditions in Mexico is Nochebuena (“Good Night”), the Spanish name for Christmas Eve. On this day, families will attend midnight mass and then go home together for a family dinner. Presents, fireworks, and poinsettia flowers all over cities and in people’s homes make Christmas Eve a warm and joyful celebration.
The final tradition that is celebrated for Christmas is on January 6th: Three Kings Day (Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos). This is when children all around Mexico receive gifts brought by Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men). The celebratory food eaten is Rosca de Reyes, a sweet baked bread in the shape of a wreath. There are usually baby Jesus figurines hidden inside the bread, and whoever gets it would have to host the Día de la Candelaria party on February 2nd. What comes with that is having to bring delicious tamales for everyone attending.
Christmas In Mexico!