Magic of Mexican Christmas Traditions
How do Mexicans celebrate Christmas? What makes Mexican Christmas traditions unique and special?
Families of traditional Mexican homes (most of them are in rural areas of Mexico) celebrate Christmas as they ancestors did.
The most important parts of Mexican Christmas Customs are: Posada and the Holy Night.
What is Posada?
Posada is the event of celebration that takes place in the Mexican homes between the December 16th and the Holy Night (December 24th). During this event, family members, friends and neighbors all take part in acting out the night when St. Joseph and Virgin Mary were looking for lodging.
The participants of Posada sing traditional songs and carry candles and two small statues of St. Joseph and Virgin Mary while going through the neighborhood and seeking lodging. They will seek lodging in three different places (shops or houses) but only the third one will allow them in.
Inside the house, that is predetermined to have the Posada for that evening, there is a Nativity scene around which everybody gathers, kneels and starts praying. After the prayers are said everybody joins in singing traditional Christmas songs and the party can begin.
Children get the special treat because there is a Pinata ready for them to break it and harvest all its treasures. Pinata is a made out of cardboard, decorated with crepe paper and stuffed with peanuts, sugar canes, and many types of candy.
Children are taking turns while trying blindfolded to break the Pinata with a stick. After his or hers successful attempt fruits and candy are all around which makes children very excited and happy. As you can see Mexican Christmas traditions are not only religious and interesting but fun as well.
Adults enjoy the Punch which is a hot beverage made out of seasonal fruits and cinnamon sticks with a little or none alcohol.
Holy Night a Celebration of Birth of Our Savior
On December 24th all Mexicans go to church to attend midnight Mass. Afterwards family gathers at home for a family dinner. Also, all family friends that have nowhere to go to for Christmas Eve are invited to share and enjoy traditional Mexican Christmas foods and drinks that hosts have prepared.
During the Christmas Eve Mexicans play or listen to traditional Mexican Christmas music and sing Christmas songs. Colorful Mexican Christmas decorations add to the joyful atmosphere as well as storytelling of the elders.
Traditional Mexican Christmas Eve is all about family, friendship, love, sharing, happiness and joy.
Even though children do not receive presents on Christmas Day they receive all the above which will be in their hearts long after the joy and memory of presents fades away. This however doesn’t mean that children don’t receive presents during holidays but only that they need to wait a bit longer than American or European children.
The New Years Eve is another important date during the Mexican Christmas Holiday. On this night Mexican families go to church to attend a midnight Mass and give their thanks for all the blessings they have received during the year.
On the day of the Kings (January 6th) children place their shoes by the window and go to bad with excitement because if they have been good, there would be a present for them in the morning in, or next to, their shoes. Interesting thing is that in the past many children received new pair of shoes as present.
Unfortunately, the globalization is more and more present in urban parts of Mexico where many do not practice Mexican Christmas Traditions. This is really sad because who will preserve Traditional Mexican culture if Mexicans give up on it?