Best time to go to Mexico

Christmas (Navidad) 2024-2025

With las posadas, los pastorales, and other seasonal fun, Mexican Christmas is so much more than food and presents. It extends much further than New Years to Día de la Candelaria

Dates: December 16–February 2

Christmas (Navidad)
Christmas (Navidad)
Christmas (Navidad)
Christmas (Navidad)

The festive season begins 9 days before Christmas Eve when many locals decorate their homes or yards with nativity scenes named nacimientos. These beautiful expositions are set in many public places across the country. The figures of Baby Jesus and the Three Kings are added later. Christmas Posadas turn entire Mexican neighborhoods into Bethlehem. Colorful processions take place every night between December 16th and 24th, culminating in different houses with "posadas." Additionally, the food and feasts include traditional piñata games where people take turns trying to break a star-shaped colourful figure full of sweets. As desirable candy falls out of a newly-made hole, everyone rushes to collect one.

Noche Buena is traditionally celebrated in a family circle around the festive table, and of course with villancicos—Christmas carols. The celebration proceeds with pastorales performances named after shepherds, and these feature shepherds on their way to the newly-born Baby Jesus. They meet devils and angels on their way and have to make the right decisions at each turn.

Then, on January, 6 comes Día de Reyes—King's Day, or Epiphany. In Mexico, it's more common to give gifts on this day, rather than at Christmas. Besides, people make Rosca de Reyes which are a sweet wreath-shaped bread with one or two figurines of Baby Jesus inside. The bread is shared among all the guests, and those who get the figurines, are supposed to throw a party and cook tamales on Candlemas (Dia de la Calendaria) celebrated on February, 2. On that day people bring Christ child figures to the church to get them blessed and celebrations continue at home with tamale parties. This feast marks the final point of Mexico's long-lasting Christmas season.

In Mexico City, you can find Christmas figurines, nativity scenes, and decorations as well as watch traditional posadas at the Coyoacán market that dates back to 1921.

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin