Christmas in Mexico
|Avg. temperature: 23°C / 73.4°F||Sun: 6 hrs per day (sunshine) / 10.9 hrs per day (daylight)|
|Rain: 179 mm per month||Avg. Humidity: 81%|
With average temperatures of 23°C / 73.4°F in December, you should not expect a Winter Wonderland in Mexico at Christmastime but instead mild, pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine. But don’t let that dissuade you from making Mexico your festive destination! With so much to see and so much to do, Mexican Christmas culture is something not to be missed.
Ready to start planning your Mexico Christmas? Read on to learn more about the country’s traditional celebrations!
A Traditional Mexican Christmas
You may be surprised to find out that in Mexico, Christmas lasts for almost a month! Beginning on 12 December every year, the festive season continues until 6 January when the celebrations conclude.
In Mexico, nativity scenes are a traditional and important part of Christmas with displays being set up by 12 December until they are finally taken down on 2 February. Known as ‘nacimiento’, the elaborate scenes typically feature the holy family – Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Shepherds and the Three Kings – alongside some unexpected figures such as Mexican women cooking tortillas or market vendors selling birds and animals! The displays are often vast, taking up plenty of space in peoples homes and on the streets of Mexico.
For nine nights from 16 December until Christmas Eve, the celebration of the Posadas is held throughout Mexico which is one of the most important parts of the Christmas festivities. ‘Posada’ literally translates from Spanish as ‘inn’ or ‘shelter’ and this tradition marks Mary and Josephs arrival to Bethlehem and their search for a place to stay. The scene is reenacted throughout the country during the Posada processions, where children parade the streets with candles and religious clay figures in hand as they visit the houses of friends, neighbours and loved ones.
They sing Christmas carols about Mary and Joseph asking for a room in which to stay, but at each house they are told ‘no’ so they proceed to the next. Eventually, they are told ‘yes’ and are welcomed inside to give thanks and say prayers before parties filled with food and games and fireworks. Each of the nine Posadas is held at a different household, representing a true sense of community and love as the locals come together during the festive season.
Christmas Eve in Mexico
The final Posada is held on 24 December, Christmas Eve, and is the most significant of all. Known as ‘Buena Noche’, it is during this final celebration that the baby Jesus is placed into the manger, and families throughout Mexico return home to enjoy their main Christmas meal. After dinner, they attend church services at midnight to ring in the start of Christmas. Parties are held on the streets where children play with piñata’s, fireworks are displayed in the night sky and music and dancing ensues until the early hours.
Visiting Mexico City during Christmas
If you plan on spending Christmas in the Mexican capital, you won’t be disappointed! It is a fun time of year to spend in Mexico City with celebrations extending for more than four weeks. On 12 December, the start of the festivities, Mexicans celebrate the ‘Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe’, a popular Catholic feast that sees millions of people visit the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The date marks the time in 1531 when it is said that a man encountered Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary, in Mexico City, and it is recognised as a public holiday and a date of great religious importance. There are parades, fireworks, packed-out churches and music and dancing for all to enjoy.
During the Posadas the streets of Mexico City are alive as communities come together in this important religious and cultural celebration, marking Mary and Josephs journey to Bethlehem. The streets fill with nativity scenes, Christmas lights and beautifully decorated trees, the most impressive of which being in the centre of town in the main square.
In the city’s main square (the zocalo) an impressive array of festive lights are strung and lit, forming ornate patterns and a visually spectacular display of vivid colours; a great photo opportunity if you’re passing by!
You’ll be able to enjoy the lights from the city’s open air ice skating rink which is set up for the month, offering the ultimate winter experience as visitors can glide over the ice whilst listening to Christmas music blaring from the surrounding speakers.
Wherever you’re visiting in Mexico this Christmas, you will be sure to have a blast as you indulge in the local traditions!
Cover photo source: https://www.insightguides.com/inspire-me/blog/places-to-spend-christmas-holidays-in-mexico