The Mexican Christmas Experience

christmas in mexico

The Mexican Christmas Experience

Topics: Festivals and Events

Written by: Mexperience

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas in Mexico

The Yuletide log burning gracefully in the hearth while sipping eggnog and watching icy flakes drift slowly downwards onto a white carpet of snow outside; the gas-fired lamps reflecting a yellowy-red hue upon a glistening cobble-stoned street while carol singers harmoniously recite lines to wistful tunes we have heard always; Christmas dinner with all the trimmings followed closely by a ‘wee dram’ of whatever liqueur may tickle our fancy. These ‘traditional images’, probably more romantic than actual with their distinct Dickensian feel, are firmly established on many Christmas cards and Christmas movies of all flavors.

Mexico may not reflect the romanticism associated with ‘dreaming of a white Christmas’ but is every bit as atmospheric in its own way at Christmas time as the ‘traditional’ Christmas imagery.

Local Posadas Christmas parties — with candlelit processions; festivals, special events,  art and music, fantastic food and drinks, dancing and merry-making are everywhere this time of year in Mexico. Most of the Posadas and events in Mexico start twelve days before Christmas and the main event and special Christmas meal is taken on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day.   The 25th is a day for quiet relaxation – ‘the ultimate Sunday’.

Many of the events are aligned with certain religious festivals and church services which make them even more meaningful to those who behold Christmas as more than just a holiday to indulge one’s self.

The back-drop may not be ‘snow drops and sleigh bells’, but the underlying feeling of peace, tranquility and a time for being with those you care about most is the same in Mexico as everywhere else that Christmas is celebrated.

Manic shopping has arrived in Mexico’s big cities at Christmas, so if you plan to ‘nip across town’ in the capital, be aware that Mexico City’s streets, especially those near and around main shopping outlets, can become virtually grid-locked on the run-up to Christmas Day as people play out the infamous ‘last minute rush’. Christmas in Mexico becomes more traditional and intimate the further away you are from big towns and cities.

In modern-day Mexico, gifts are often exchanged on the 24th, although traditionally and historically presents in Mexico are exchanged on King’s Day – January 6th.   This is also the day when the delicious “Rosca de Reyes” (King’s Loaf) is served, a donut-like cake into which a small plastic doll is baked.  Whoever is served the slice containing the doll should, by tradition, host a party at their home on February 2nd, to celebrate Candle Mass.

Christmas is always a busy time to travel – and relatively expensive. If you are retired or have a flexible schedule, flying before December 15th and staying until after January 6th will save you considerable amounts of money in transportation fees (and you will avoid the rush at the airports).

People who visit Mexico this time of year enjoy getting away from their usual surroundings and absorbing an alternative Christmas experience.  Many people who have been to Mexico for Christmas once are drawn back time and again to the special magic that Mexico offers this time of year.  For those who live here, Christmas remains a special time of year when friends, family, festivals and traditions fuse together to create a unique and enjoyable atmosphere that is uniquely Mexican in its approach and style.

Wherever you are this holiday season, we wish all our readers and members a very tranquil Christmas filled with joy, and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Merry Christmas to you from

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