Christmas in Mexico is a glorious time of celebrations, religious observances, and family togetherness. Different from other places in the world, Mexican Christmas traditions draw from the rich history of the country, combining elements of Aztec culture, Catholic practices, and Mexican traditions to create a unique Christmas celebration that is loved by all. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “how does Mexico celebrate Christmas?”, read on and revel in the beauty that is Christmas in Mexico.
A true Christmas celebration in Mexico involves various posadas, or parties, tons of delicious Mexican Christmas food, and a lively spirit that is absolutely contagious. Mexican traditions begin on the 16th of December when nine nights of posadas take center stage. These Mexican traditions are teeming with holiday spirit as families, friends, and coworkers gather across the country for festive parties with games, gift exchanges, and delicious Christmas meals. These posadas culminate on Christmas Eve, when families have their main Christmas celebration and holiday meal, staying up into the night with plenty of drinks and laughter.
During a Christmas celebration in Mexico, you’ll see traditional roasted meats and vegetables, but there’s also special Mexican Christmas food, both savory and sweet, filled with the bold flavors of the country. When it comes to how does Mexico celebrate Christmas, kitchens are filled with the aromas of steaming tamales and bubbling pots of pozole soup. Buñuelos, flan, and hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon are a few of the sweet treats to enjoy after dinner with a glass of ponche navideño or rompope. To make ponche navideño, families will boil cinnamon sticks, diced guava, sliced apples, and dried hibiscus on the stove, and mugs of this Christmas punch are topped off with some spiced rum. Rompope, similar to eggnog, is made with milk and eggs as well as macadamia nuts and rum or tequila. With these festive drinks and hearty dishes, Christmas in Mexico is a delicious time of year.
As the holiday season begins, one of the Mexican Christmas traditions throughout the country is nativity displays. In the Catholic country, these scenes, set up in local businesses and public spaces, can be life-size elaborate replicas of the Christmas story, but until December 25, you won’t see a baby Jesus in these displays. Another popular tradition for all sorts of celebrations in Mexico is a piñata, and at Christmas, many posadas will have a Christmas star with seven spikes on it, representing the seven deadly sins to destroy. The holidays come to a close on January 6, Dia de los Reyes, a celebration of the Three Wise Men. On this day, families come together and eat rosca de reyes, kings’ cake, a round, flaky pastry, and what makes this cake unique is that there’s a little plastic baby hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby is in charge of bringing tamales to the next celebration.
Even without snowflakes and icicles, Christmas in Mexico is a cozy time of year when families and friends gather for traditional meals and gift exchanges. Nativity scenes and Christmas trees fill homes this time of year, but what makes the holidays meaningful is being with those you love. No matter how you celebrate Christmas, it’s sharing laughter and memories that make the season merry and bright.