Christmas in Mexico | How it is celebrated, customs and traditions

If you are planning your trip to Mexico for Christmas, you have come to the right place! Here, in this article from The Happy Traveler, you will discover everything you need to know about How do they celebrate Christmas in Mexico?. In that sense, it is one of the most important festivals for Mexicans, because many of the customs and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation.

In this way, the Christmas holidays in Mexico are quite a spectacle that is not only important for the locals, but also allows tourists to feel very well integrated. Do you want to know everything about Christmas traditions in Mexico? So don’t stop reading this article. Come on!

When is Christmas in Mexico?

Christmas in Mexico is the December 25th. In this country, this date is known as Christmas Eve. Christmas in Mexico is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, so it is not surprising that there are some traditions that have their roots in the Catholic religion. But Christmas itself also has a long history in this country. In fact, the origin of Christmas in Mexico dates back to the 16th century.

Some of these traditions date back to the Arrival of the Spaniards to Mexico City. For example, they brought stories about Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas (which became popular among Europeans). Likewise, the first Christmas tree was probably made by Native Americans and brought over by Spanish settlers. Now, when is the Christmas tree put up in Mexico? Usually during the first days of December.

How is Christmas celebrated in Mexico?

Christmas decorations

Today, Mexican families decorate their homes with nativity scenes, especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Throughout the month of December, there will be no lack of music and dancing, in churches, corners and, in general, throughout the city. In some cities, such as Toluca and Morelia, the bells of the local churches are rung at midnight to mark the beginning of the festivity.

whatHow is Christmas celebrated in Mexico? The most popular tradition is exchanging gifts with family and friends. Mexican families give their loved ones chocolates for this special day, and you can find them in many stores in the city! For those who enjoy shopping for gifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas, there are also many stores that open early (or stay open late) to accommodate customers who want to do some last-minute shopping before or after midnight mass.

Typical Christmas food in Mexico

What do you eat at Christmas in Mexico? For many Mexicans, eating Tamales it’s one of their favorite ways to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas. Tamales are made with dried corn husks stuffed with meat or chicken cooked in broth or bouillon; traditionally they are served with red sauce. In addition, it is usually eaten stuffed turkey or breastthe ingredients are varied, but include ground beef, white wine and various spices.

On the other hand, you cannot miss the Apple salad; this fruit becomes the great protagonist and is accompanied with sour cream, blueberries, chopped walnuts and icing sugar. As for drinks, at Mexican Christmas they usually drink pozol, atole and sangria.

10 customs and traditions of Christmas in Mexico

Mexican Posadas |  Christmas in Mexico

1. The inns

Nine days before Christmas in Mexico the traditional posadas begin. It is one of the most important customs of Mexican culture. What does it consist on? In a representation of the journey that Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary made to Bethlehem. Posadas are organized in various ways, for example, in some cities each family does their own activity, while in others they hold a community procession.

during the posadas candles are lit and carols are sung. At the end, a meeting is usually held, where sweet traditions are shared. Children also participate, they carry altars decorated with branches and figures of the Virgin Mary, and it is customary for them to ask for money (aguinaldos).

2. The Magi

Another Christmas tradition in Mexico is prepare for the arrival of the Magi, a celebration that recalls how three kings from the East undertook a journey to meet the Child Jesus. And they symbolize the first converts to Christianity. Since the early years of evangelization in the New World, this date has been celebrated on January 6.

Previously, it was a very celebrated date in Mexico; and for the children it was exciting, since they received gifts. However, over the years the tradition has been lost. Now, according to the criteria of each family, they choose whether to celebrate it or not. What is true that the figure of the Magi is still in force and can be seen in Christmas decorations.

3. Births

God child birth

The nacimientos are an inevitable part of Christmas in Mexico. In that sense, they are an opportunity to see the technique and creativity of the Mexicans. In this country, it is not necessary to be Catholic to do the birth, in fact, people of other religions often join in this activity. The tradition of births is attributed to San Francisco de Asís, however, in Mexico it begins with the time of evangelization.

During all this time they have been evolving, currently being a great example of the creativity of the Mexican people, who use all kinds of materials. Also, births they are made in different sizesIt all depends on the style of each person.

4. Takari Festival

In Tarímbaro, Michoacán, you will find a different way to experience Christmas in Mexico. This festival is a mix between the Purépecha and Spanish culture.. It takes place from December 25 to 28. One of its main characteristics is that the city makes a large number of births, with the particularity that they are made of wax, carved or even made from corn leaves. In addition, they dance in colorful costumes and collect hay for the place where the Child God will be placed.

5. Night of Radishes

Traditional Mexican Christmas can be found in the city of Oaxaca, where the Night of Radishes takes place. During this day, they make a competition of figures made in radishes, a food introduced to Mexico by Spanish friars. It takes place on December 23 and in Oaxaca it is linked to the Christmas holidays.

This festival has its origins in the mid-18th century, when there was an abundant harvest of radishes. So they wouldn’t get lost, they decided to make figures and create a competition. Currently, the idea is that the radish is the protagonist, although the use of other elements that serve to decorate the scene is allowed. Most of the participants do ornaments related to the nativity and Our Lady of Guadalupe!

6. Split the Thread

split the thread

Breaking the Rosca de Reyes is an action similar to the one carried out during Christmas in Spain. This is a sweet that originated in the twelfth century, in the Kingdom of Navarre, whose popularity peaked in 1361. In Mexico, the bagel is usually shared with friends and neighbors. Its shape is oval and reminds us that God’s love has no end, while the fruits that decorate it represent the jewels that the Magi brought to Jesus.

7. Pastorela of Tepotzotlán

For more than 50 years in the city of Tepotzotlán the Pastorela has been performed. A play set in a convent that includes the entire Christmas experience. A lot of local humor is used and the use of typical costumes predominates. It is an experience worth living during the month of December!

8. Suitcase in hand

New Year’s Eve in Mexico is marked by rituals that are carried out in order to achieve new goals. One of the most traditional is, right at 12 midnight, take a suitcase and walk around the house or go out into the streets. What is achieved with this? Have a new year full of travel! Would you do it?

9. The piñatas

Pinatas in Mexico |  Christmas in Mexico

Piñatas are a representative element of the culture of Mexico. And, of course, at Christmas they cannot be missing! Introduced by Spanish friars, piñatas are broken to overcome sin. In fact, its seven peaks represent the sins capitals, while sweets symbolize the reward for good will and faith.

10. Candlemas Day

Christmas in Mexico officially ends on February 2 when Candlemas Day is celebrated. They usually eat tamales with neighbors and friends. In addition, the apparition of the virgin who arrived in the Americas through the Spanish conquest is remembered. Interestingly, this day coincides with the New Year of the Aztec calendar.

Places to spend Christmas in Mexico

Mexican Plaza during the month of December

1. Bernal, Queretaro

Where to spend Christmas in Mexico? In the magical town of Bernal. This has a very intimate atmosphere, since it has about 4000 inhabitants. And something that you cannot miss is going to the Casa Tío Camilo hotel to see a birth of more than 60 handmade figures! Also, at the beginning of December, a concert and Christmas dinner is organized.

2. Mexico City

The Mexican capital is perfect to spend these dates, since it is there where you can find a party atmosphere everywhere. Throughout the month you will find activities to do in Mexico City. For example, you can try Christmas gastronomy in the zócalo or admire the lights in the historic center.


Creel is a magical town in Chihuahua that promises a white Christmas. It is small, however offers great attractions such as the Arareco lake, the Basaseachi waterfall and the Cusárare waterfall. Ideal to spend a Christmas surrounded by snow!

4. San Miguel de Allende

Are you looking for romantic options to spend Christmas? So, you have to visit San Miguel de Allende! It is one of the best tourist destinations in Mexico, in addition to being considered as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. It has a special charm during Christmas and its squares are filled with Christmas decorations.

5. Tlalpujahua

Visiting Tlalpujahua at Christmas is unique, because this Mexican town is known for being a production center for blown glass Christmas spheres. Located between mountains and forests, it is ideal to fill you with the Christmas spirit. In fact, from October to December the Sphere Fair is held, where you can buy all kinds of decorations for your home or office.

Without a doubt, Christmas in Mexico is lived with total intensity! A time of reconciliation, prosperity and happiness. If you visit this country, you will surely feel a unique vibe that will make you experience the most special Christmas of your life. Do you visit?

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