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Christmas in Mexico is a big deal, with a capital “D”. Not only will you see many of the customs and traditions that are usually observed in the United States and Canada, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees and snow scenes, but you will also enjoy a host of typically Mexican traditions too. Take a look at what you can expect of a Mexican Christmas.
What You Can Expect with a Mexican Christmas
If you plan on spending your Christmas in Mexico, then you can expect to see beautiful decorated Christmas trees lining the streets and plazas, while in Puerto Vallarta, you will see palm trees decorated too.
Christmas Eve and Gifts
Christmas is celebrated on December 24th in Mexico rather than on the 25th, when Mexican families will come together for the last ‘posada’, which are traditional Christmas gatherings that reenact the arrival of the pregnant virgin Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem. On December 24th, you can expect to dine with traditional Mexican foods and drink until early Christmas morning. Some gifts will be exchanged, but in Mexico, Christmas is more about spending time with your family members. Children are the ones who receive the most gifts, although traditionally it is the Three Kings, not Santa Claus, who brings them on January 6th.
The Three Kings – Los Reyes Magos
Los Tres Magos or the Three Kings is a traditional holiday that occurs in Mexico on January 6th. It is also known as ‘Dia de Reyes’ or “The Day of the Kings’. The Day of the Kings marks the end of the twelve days of Christmas and the long journey that the three wise men took to meet the baby Jesus. Children look forward to El Día de Reyes, because this is the day that they receive their gifts by leaving their shoes outside by the front door for the kings to leave gifts by.
Rosca de Reyes
The Rosca that is shared on the Three Kings Day is a traditional delicacy that is a special treat in Mexico. It is a delicious sweet bread that is made to look like the kings’ crowns where a small ceramic baby jesus is hidden. To add some excitement, everyone in the family will take a slice of the rosca, eager to see if they will find the baby. If you are one that gets the baby Jesus in your sweet bread, then you will be expected to host a party on February 2nd, which is a celebration for ‘Candlemas Day’ or ‘Dia de Candelaria’, where everyone eats tamales.
Christmas is a special time in Mexico. If you plan on coming to Mexico during Christmas, then why not celebrate Christmas the way people in Mexico do? It is an exciting way to embrace the Mexican Christmas traditions.