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It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. The lights, the music, the Christmas trees. What are your plans for this Christmas season? This year, you deserve to spend Christmas in a very special way. Celebrate Christmas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!
This holiday season, you can immerse yourself in the Mexican Christmas traditions while soaking up the sun at Hotel Mousai, one of the most exclusive adults-only beach resorts in Puerto Vallarta. Yes, you can have it all!
Christmas traditions are an essential part of the Mexican culture, and you can find them all over Mexico. Here in Puerto Vallarta, the Christmas spirit fills up the streets with colorful lights, spicy aromas, and villancicos (Christmas songs).
Read on to learn more about Mexican Christmas traditions and Christmas in Puerto Vallarta.
1. Virgin of Guadalupe Festival
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico. She is also known as the Virgin Mary. Nuestra señora de Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego, a humble indigenous man, who had converted to Christianity more than 400 years ago.
The celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe lasts 12 days. From December 1st to December 12th the streets of Puerto Vallarta are infused with cheerful music, vibrant colors, and mouthwatering food. Even if you are not Christian or Catholic, you can appreciate the celebratory vibes that spread all over town this time of year.
On the last day of the festivities, a service is performed honoring the Virgin Mary at the cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an important landmark for locals and visitors to Puerto Vallarta alike. The celebrations end with a spectacular fireworks show over the Banderas Bay.
Posadas are a re-creation of the journey undertaken by the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph as they looked for shelter in Bethlehem when baby Jesus was about to be born. This nightly pilgrimage starts on December 16th and continues until December 24th.
The posadas are led by a boy who carries small figures representing the holy couple followed by friends, family, and in some cases the entire neighborhood. When they arrive at the designated inn, people gather to celebrate by singing and dancing.
The parties happen in houses as well as on the streets. Whole neighborhoods light up in celebration on these nights. The pilgrimage ends with an abundant Christmas dinner the night of the 24th.
3. Christmas Dinner
In Mexico, the Christmas celebration with family is focused on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day.
At the Mexican Christmas dinner, the turkey takes the spotlight, but if turkey is not your thing, you have plenty of other tasty choices.
Popular dishes for the Christmas dinner are Bacalao a la Vizcaina, a flavorful codfish slow cooked with garlic, tomatoes, and olives. Another Christmas dish is Romeritos con mole, this is a very unique Mexican dish prepared with leaves of a plant called Milpa that grows in the center region of the country. It is mixed with shrimp and a luxurious mole sauce.
On the Christmas table, you can also find savory and sweet tamales, aromatic Mexican punch, and buñuelos (sweet fried dough).
For an easy-to-make Christmas salad, just mix diced apples, nuts, raisins, and canned pineapple chunks together with some heavy cream and mayo. It is delicious!
This Christmas in Puerto Vallarta, we invite you to try one of the two appetizing Christmas dinner menus at Hotel Mousai. You can choose from our Japanese restaurant Hiroshi, or for stunning views pick The Rooftop restaurant.
You will see colorful piñatas everywhere you go during Christmas time in Mexico. These are made out of clay pots or cardboard, and papier-mâché. They have a star shape with seven peaks representing the seven capital sins.
The tradition is for you to try to break it, hitting it with a stick while blindfolded. If you hit it once, you will get spun around as a manner to disorient you and try again. The sweetest part is when the piñata finally breaks, spilling all the candy that is inside.
5. The Nativity
The nativity scene is essential in every Mexican home. On December 16th, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are placed in it. Then on the night of December 24th, baby Jesus is placed representing His birth. Later on January 6th, the three wise men will be added.
Although in other parts of the world the nativity scene is removed after Three Kings Day, in Mexico it stays until February 2nd. Yes, two months of celebrations!
6. New Year’s Eve Traditions
In Mexico, New Year’s Eve is filled with flavorful dishes to share with family and friends, music, and some special rituals. Mexicans eat one grape for each bell toll at midnight and make their wishes for each month of the New Year.
Wearing red color underwear on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring you love for the upcoming year. If you’ve already found love, you can wear yellow to attract money and prosperity, and green for good health and well-being.
Another peculiar tradition is to walk around the block with a suitcase at midnight. This is said to bring you lots of travels for the upcoming year.
7. Three Kings Day
Different than in the United States, it is traditional in Mexico to get Christmas gifts on January 6th. This symbolized the arrival of the three wise men that brought gifts to baby Jesus.
On this day, people get together to eat the Rosca de Reyes, a delicious fruit cake shaped like a crown, paired with some hot chocolate. Inside the Rosca de Reyes is a hidden figurine of baby Jesus. If you are the lucky one to get it, you must host the celebration on February 2nd, Dia de la Candelaria. On this day everyone will come to your place to eat tamales that you prepared or more likely, you order them.
With all these Christmas traditions, celebrations filled with music, dance, food in the paradisiacal setting of Puerto Vallarta you are guaranteed to have a great time this year. What are you waiting for? Come along and enjoy the fun this Christmas in Puerto Vallarta!