Christmas is a very popular celebration in Central America, and Mexico has many activities on that day. Most Mexicans are Catholic, and so Christmas is one of the most awaited days in the year.
To celebrate Christmas, thousands of Mexicans gather from early December to organize activities and celebrations for the arrival of baby Jesus. The Christmas spirit is with Mexican children and adults, who wait joyfully and happily for this day. In this article we will talk about how Christmas Day is celebrated in Mexico. We will learn about some of their main customs and traditions.
Families gather a few minutes before midnight to welcome baby Jesus. At midnight, there is the classical Christmas hug, and everybody goes near the nativity scene to place baby Jesus in the manger while they pray. After that, everybody greets neighbors and friends, and then they sit at the table to enjoy the classical Christmas dinner.
The main plate at the Mexican Christmas dinner is the classical “Christmas turkey”, but some prefer the “Christmas chicken”. They both are prepared and decorated in a similar way. Additionally to the main course, there are also ham rolls, tamales and the Christmas bread. Many Mexicans are used to sharing food they prepared for Christmas Day with their neighbors. They do so because they believe that sharing should be done in the name of baby Jesus.
One of the most typical Christmas customs in Mexico are the posadas. Traditionally, the start on December 16 and they go on until one hour before midnight on December 25. Posadas are actually a representation, where two people dressed up as Mary and Joseph look a place to stay for the birth of baby Jesus. The couple is followed by people who knock the door at every house until they arrive to a designated place, where they are taken in and there is a celebration with piñatas, music, food, games and more. Posadas are mostly held in neighborhoods.
After Christmas and New Year’s Day, activities do not cease in Mexico. January 6 is Epiphany. The previous day, many streets are decorated for the parade of the three wise men. On that day, many Mexican little children write a letter to the wise men to ask for a gift. Another tradition is preparing and eating the Rosca de Reyes. This sweet bread is prepared especially for this day, and inside it has a figure representing baby Jesus. According to popular belief, finding baby Jesus’ figure is a good omen to start the year.