Celebrate Christmas in Mexico: A Photo Essay
By Rachel George
When it comes to celebration, food, and tradition, Mexico is known for its wonderfully vibrant approach. So why would the holiday season be any different?
Christmas in Mexico is reflective of the country’s Spanish heritage and culture. The country recently kicked off its month-long Christmas holiday season honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, a staple in the country’s impactful history, involving a nine-day tradition of worship and prayer. On the final day Dec. 12, people of have parades, dance and sing.
The next major tradition begins with Las Posadas, to teach people about Christianity. Translating to “inn” or “shelter,” adults and children participate in a parade, visiting different homes singing traditional songs, recreating the story of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Nazareth. There’s also a piñata with seven points, representing the seven deadly sins. The stick used to hit the piñata represents Christian faith.
Many families re-create the Nativity scene, “Nacimiento,” in their church and sometimes their homes with animals, the Three Kings, and shepherds adding a sweet Baby Jesus model on December 24th. After midnight mass, families feast on a large dinner with ham, turkey and authentic Mexican dishes, tamales, ham, turkey and a little ponche to drink.
Día de Los Santos Inocentes is another popular Mexican Christmas tradition held on December 28th, putting a flip on an unpleasant past. The day is intended for kicks and giggles, jokes and tricks. For good luck, eat one grape for each month of the New Year, but don’t forget the fireworks.
Celebrate the Three King’s visit to see the newborn Christ child and the official day for gift giving on January 6th. Eat sweet bread known as Rosca de Reyes is eaten and celebrate with friends, family and loved ones. Mini baby Jesus ornaments are hidden within the bread. Whoever finds them must buy everyone tamales during Candlemas celebration next month.
On the last day of the Mexican Christmas season, family and friends gather for worship bringing the baby Jesus replica to church for an official blessing. Afterward, feast on dinner and tamales bought by whoever found the baby Jesus in the Rosca.