¡Feliz Navidad! Exploring Christmas Traditions in Mexico


Christmas in Mexico isn’t simply a single day. The heart of the Christmas vacations in Mexico happens throughout numerous weeks, however the whole Christmas season lasts almost 2 months!

In short, Mexico likes commemorating Christmas. You’ll be welcomed by more than simply decors and Christmas music if you discover yourself fortunate sufficient to check out in the middle of this busy season. The celebrations are limitless: spiritual processions, dynamic parades, celebrations, kids’s plays, outside markets, unique food and beverage, carols, therefore a lot more.

And here’s a professional pointer– snow is unusual throughout the majority of Mexico, however winter seasons can get cold! Bring some additional money and purchase a conventional rebozo or sarape, 2 kinds of shawls that can keep you warm.

Below, we’ll take a better take a look at Mexican Christmas customs that you can delight in abroad or in your own neighborhood. No matter how you pick to commemorate, finding out Spanish can assist you much better get in touch with Mexican culture! Rosetta Stone’s bite-sized lessons permit you to immerse yourself in Spanish without the tiresome memorization, so you can get discussion prepared in no time.

>> > > Learn these important basic Spanish words and phrases today!


What do they call Christmas in Mexico?

Christmas passes lots of names in Mexico, which’s since there are a lot of events throughout the season. You might hear las Posadas, la Nochebuena, and el Día de los Tres Reyes, amongst them.

The genuine name for Christmas, however, is la Navidad It’s likewise typical for individuals to describe the whole season as las Fiestas Navideñas (the Christmas Festivities), a name that stresses simply just how much there is to see throughout the season. You’ll never ever be tired throughout las Fiestas Navideñas– all you need to do is leave your door or go downtown to see an event.

>>> > Want to understand how to pronounce Navidad and las Fiestas Navideñas? Speak like a native with TruAccent.

When does Mexico commemorate Christmas?

Mexicans commemorate Christmas on December 24, which is called Nochebuena ( equated straight as the “Good Night,” however more properly as “Christmas Eve”). Why does Mexico commemorate Christmas on the 24th? Due to Spanish colonization, Mexico is overwhelmingly Catholic— about 78% Catholic– and it’s conventional for Catholics to go to midnight mass on the night of the 24th, because they think Jesus was born at that minute.

Still, we can’t forget that Christmas is quite a season in Mexico, with significant days and celebrations happening from mid-December to early February. Here is a list of the most unforgettable dates throughout las Fiestas Navideñas, which we’ll share more on listed below:

  • December 12: Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Virgin of Guadalupe Day)
  • December 16-24: Posadas
  • December 24: Nochebuena (Christmas Eve)
  • December 25: Navidad (Christmas Day)
  • December 28: Día de los Santos Inocentes (Holy Innocents Day)
  • January 6: Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day)
  • February 2: Candelaria (Candlemas)

How does Mexico commemorate Christmas?

Mexico commemorates Christmas de muchas maneras (” in lots of methods”). From villancicos to warm mugs of ponche navideño, there’s happiness to be discovered in every activity.


Mexican Christmas customs

  • Las Posadas: Based on the Nativity story, these events take place on the days leading up to Nochebuena. With 2 individuals impersonated Mary and Joseph and accompanied by artists and amateur vocalists, a group goes to a various home for 9 nights in a row. There’s a call and reaction in between individuals who request for posada (” accommodations”) and the possible hosts. Everybody gets in to sing
  • villancicos, and the kids break a piñatavillancico Villancicos
  • : Villancicos are the Mexican variation of Christmas carols. You may hear them sung by kids or adult choruses on the street or inside. Listen to a made up by Mexico’s most well-known convent author, sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Piñatas: Though highly related to Mexico, piñatas are a European custom that combined with native Mexican culture. Made from paper mache or a clay pot and filled with sweet,
  • piñatas been available in all sorts of shapes, colors, and images. As other kids sing, a blindfolded kid strikes the piñata with a stick in hopes of being the very first to break it. No matter for how long it takes, enjoyable is had by all! Nochebuena
  • : As we discussed, households generally go to midnight mass. They have a

    • cena together, a conventional Christmas Eve supper made up of some of the gastronomic thrills we discuss below.
    • Gift offering: Family members might exchange little presents on Nochebuena, however the kids need to wait on their crucial present up until Three Kings Day. Often there is a Kris Kringle kind of present exchange within a household or at work. Traditional Mexican Christmas food
    • is, according to UNESCO, thought about to be among the cultural treasures of the world. And we concur! Special, tasty, and loaded with intricate tastes, here are simply a few of the wonderful Christmas foods discovered in Mexico: Tamales: There are a lot of kinds of tamales in Mexico! Generally covered in corn or banana leaves, they have a cornmeal base and are filled with chicken, pork, cheese, or, in some locations, fish, and some sort of sauce, generally a tomato-based sauce, or, in Oaxaca, mole. Tamales are often sweet also. Ensalada de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve Salad): The specific active ingredients of this color– jam-packed salad can differ, however it generally includes lettuce, pomegranate, mandarin oranges, jicama, nuts, and dressing. ¡ Muy buena!
    • Pavo navideño (Christmas Turkey): There are a lot of methods to prepare a turkey, and Mexico is no exception. Among the most typical methods to prepare pavo navideño is with a marinade called
    • adobo, a sauce generally made with chipotle and ancho chili peppers. Ponche Navideño (Spiced Punch): This gratifying and warm beverage is made with great deals of fruit, cinnamon and sugarcane sticks, and


    , a type of brown sugar. It’s typically just slightly sweet. Matured may increase it with a little rum.

    • Bacalao (Salted Codfish): While the initial dish originates from Spain, this is an incredibly popular meal in Mexico for the holiday. The fish gets soaked for days to get rid of the salt then sauteed with onion, tomato, olives, potatoes, and often almonds or raisins. After the mix sits some time, the tastes actually take in. In Mexico, it’s served with a
    • bolillo (roll) and a pickled chili pepper on the side!
    • Mexican Christmas decors Mexico actually understands how to spruce a location up! We’ve currently discussed piñatas, however do not miss out on the outside Christmas markets where you’ll discover music, Christmas decors, and flowers. Nochebuena (” Poinsettias”): Nochebuena is likewise the name of the conventional Christmas flower called “Poinsettias” in English! You’ll see them all over, from the general public parks to inside workplaces.


    Luminarias are lit candle lights surrounded by a paper holder. They might be sophisticated, store-bought, or homemade. Frequently utilized in las Posadas, you’ll likewise see them all over New Mexico in the United States throughout the holiday.

    Nacimientos (Nativity Scenes)


    : While Mexican homes tend to have a Christmas tree nowadays, the conventional Christmas decor for the home is a


    (nativity scene). Including the conventional components of the scriptural story, the infant Jesus is not positioned in the manger up until late on Christmas Eve.

    Is Santa a Christmas custom in Mexico? Santa is not a conventional part of Christmas in Mexico, and as such, present offering works in a different way. Kids normally get their presents on Three Kings Day, though households will often exchange presents on Christmas Eve under the guise that infant Jesus brings presents to kids. That stated, Christmas events from the United States have actually affected Mexico, and nowadays, it is not uncommon to see Santa at regional shopping centers. He is typically called “Santa” as he remains in English, though Papá Noel or Santa Clos can likewise be utilized!

    What other vacations are commemorated throughout the Christmas season? December 12: Día de la Virgin de Guadalupe The Virgin of Guadalupe is among Mexico’s many renowned symbols. Said to have actually appeared to Juan Diego in 1531, she is a long-lasting sign of Mexico’s self-reliance from Spain and the main patroness of Mexico, a status stated by the pope in 1910.

    December 12 is a nationwide banquet day commemorated by Catholics worldwide, however events are rather sophisticated in Mexico. Juan Diego was native to Mexico, and as such, the ritualistic dance carried out on the day,

    Danza de los Matachines, honors the country’s native roots. Numerous Mexicans likewise check out the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City in between the celebrations to honor the Virgin Mary.

    This vibrant vacation begins the start of the Christmas season and is the start of the

    FIestas Navideñas in Mexico. December 28: Día de los Santos Inocentes


    Día de los Santos Inocentes

    (Holy Innocents Day) is a Catholic vacation observed by lots of Spanish-speaking nations. It has solemn, spiritual origins, the day is in fact rather entertaining in nature, and really comparable to April Fools Day. Who does not like an excellent, easy going trick? January 1: Año Nuevo Mexico commemorates the New Year on December 31 with household. A


    (supper) is held, and households might make any of the conventional Christmas meals we’ve currently discussed. Before midnight, individuals consume a lots grapes to make a desire for each month of the New Year, and there’s generally a toast when the clock strikes 12:00. Citywide or casual fireworks typically follow.

    January 6: Día de los Tres Reyes Magosrosca de los Reyes The Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) is a feast day commemorated by Christians worldwide on January 6. In line with the nativity story, it honors the see of the Three Wise Men.

    Santa plays a much smaller sized function in Mexico, however that does not imply kids go without presents. Rather, kids get their presents from these 3 Magi, echoing the presents that the Magi brought for the newborn Jesus.

    The customs can differ depending upon the household and the area, however many kids go to sleep early and put a shoe near to the Nativity scene in their home, marking the area where they want to get a present. The next day, buddies and households will consume hot chocolate and consume a , a round pastry covered with dried fruit. See out for the little plastic doll concealed within if you’re welcomed to consume a rosca. It signifies Baby Jesus– and it indicates that you’ll be purchasing tamales on Candelaria


    February 2: Candelaria

    La Candelaria

    is called Candlemas in English, however the vacation is not incredibly popular in English-speaking nations. In Mexico, nevertheless, this day is totally gotten in touch with bite-sized lessons el Día de los Tres Reyesperfect your accent Whoever discovers the plastic infant in the rosca on that day needs to supply the tamales for that very same group of individuals on February 2! Though not a significant vacation, many individuals have little events to top the vacation events. It is likewise the day when Catholics take their statues of the Baby Jesus, typically dressed up for the day, to church to be blessed. Make the many of every eventRosetta Stone app Christmas in Mexico is a terrific vacation loaded with custom, surprises, kindness, and tasty food. The magic of vacation customs, obviously, is that they can occur throughout the world. Whether you’re preparing a journey to Mexico or commemorating with your regional neighborhood, there’s lots of space to integrate these customs into your own.

    Learning Spanish can assist you reveal much more culture in Mexico and beyond! Rosetta Stone’s

    can assist you discover rapidly and

in an enjoyable, immersive environment– no memorization needed. Gain from the convenience of (*) tu casa(*) or take your lessons on the go with the(*) (*) Written by Rowena Galavitz(*) Rowena Galavitz is a Spanish translator, multilingual copy editor, and language and literature trainer with 3 master’s degrees who likes Spanish and all things Mexico.(*)


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