Mexico has many traditions and festivities – with the most anticipated ones taking place during the Christmas season.

Christmas in Mexico

Mexico has many traditions and festivities – with the most anticipated ones taking place during the Christmas season. These generally start a few weeks before Christmas with the “Posadas”.

Las Posadas “The Inns”

Las Posadas were originally called “Misas de Aguinaldo” (Aguinaldo Masses) and were introduced to the indigenous peoples by Augustinian friars during the Spanish conquest. Over time, they changed the traditions to what is currently known and celebrated in Mexico.

Families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers usually gather at night for the Posada party. This party begins with a representation of the Virgin Mary and Joseph looking for a place (an inn) where the baby Jesus could be born. Through songs and prayers, people holding candles and sparklers “ask for posada”. Afterward, the person who organized the “inn” gives “Aguinaldos” (bonuses), which are small bags or baskets with sweets and fruit in them”

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Then the people drink a Christmas punch that is prepared with guavas, apples, tejocotes, small strips of sugar cane, prunes, and piloncillos. Afterward, typical Mexican food is eaten and the piñata is broken. Traditionally, it must be a seven-pointed star. At the end there is dancing and fun.


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Eve begins with preparations for dinner, where typical dishes of the season begin to be prepared using ingredients from the region. Depending on the area of ​​Mexico, you can find dishes such as: Romeritos, Pierna adobada (marinated leg), pork loin, bacalao a la vizcaina (cod), stuffed chilies, apple salad, beet salad, carrot salad, fritters, and stuffed turkey.

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Houses are decorated with Christmas trees and nativity scenes. This is a representation of the place where the baby Jesus was born. Colored lights, paper lanterns, and pots of “Nochebuena flower” (poinsettia flowers) are placed at the entrances.

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Before dinner, the songs and prayers that are done in the posadas are performed again, except on Christmas Eve night. At this time, a plaster doll in the shape of the baby Jesus is carried, then lulled to sleep, and finally placed in the nativity scene. It will stay there until January 6. Then the people toast with apple cider and have dinner. In many homes in Mexico, after dinner, the piñata is broken and there is a dance or gifts are exchanged.

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For people in Mexico, the Christmas celebration does not end until January 6th. After this time the tree and nativity scene are removed. This is also why when the New Year comes, you can still see Christmas decorations hanging up.

The festivities end on January 6 with the arrival of the Three Wise Men, who leave gifts for children under the Christmas tree during the night of the 5th or 6th. During the day, they eat “Rosca de Reyes”, a circular bread with ingredients such as plums and dates. Inside it are several small dolls in the shape of the baby Jesus. Tradition says that the first one to find a doll will be the godfather or godmother of the plaster doll used at Christmas. This person will take it to be blessed at church on February 2nd (“Candelaria Day”). In addition, this person will have to distribute atole and tamales to their relatives.

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People in Mexico like parties, traditions, eating, and being with family. This is why the Christmas holiday is a season where various events take place. Although many elements are repeated, or used in different countries of the world, in Mexico, the people give it a different touch so that their Christmas is unique.

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