Mexican Christmas Traditions

Mexican Christmas traditions are great for families to transmit values, culture and history to their children.

It is true that many traditions are getting lost with the years but some communities stride to keep them alive!

We will show some of the most typical traditions that some Mexican families still have!

Las Posadas

Without doubt Las Posadas is the most recognized and beautiful Mexican Christmas tradition. Las Posadas happen every day from December 16th to Christmas eve December 24th. 

There  is an enactment of the journey that Joseph and Mary took when they were looking door to door for a place to stay just before the birth of baby Jesus.

Two groups are formed, and all people carry small candles.  One represents Jesus and Mary outside of the door and the other represents the people denying shelter inside the house.  They each take turns singing the traditional song and walk from the front door to the side door to the back door simulating multiple houses.  When the group reaches the last door, the people inside finally offers them shelter and they all sing a joyful chorus.

Also, family and friends usually pray the rosary to the Virgin Mary.

Then, kids break the piñata.  Traditional piñatas have 7 spikes which represent the seven capital sins.  They are all filled with candy which kids rush to get when the piñata breaks.

Lastly, family and friends eat Christmas traditional Mexican dishes such as tamales, buñuelos, ponche and other delicious food.

Nowadays, the term posada is used for any Chrismas party happening without regard of the traditional singing or praying. 

Las Pastorelas

Pastorelas is a play that has taken a comic and political tone. They use to be common in schools, and churches.

The basic plot is that a group of shepherds and the three wise men take a trip to meet baby Jesus.  The shepherds usually play a comic role.   They all encounter angels and the devil that introduce all kinds of challenges.  At the end the angel San Gabriel triumphs over the devil.

Pastorelas is an effective way to teach children the biblical passage and to critique for adults common society problems.

Other Mexican Christmas Traditions

  • The Nativity Set although not unique for Mexico, it use to be widely built.  A lot people would create at home huge layouts with many figures, landscape and lights.
  • Christmas it is now widely celebrated in Mexico.  Christmas eve is the last posada and it ends up with the traditional family dinner.  In the North of the country kids wake up to see the presents brought by Santa Claus or by baby Jesus on the morning of the 25th of December.
  • The Three Wise Men Day is on January 6th and it is the day when baby Jesus receives presents from these kings.  In the South of Mexico this is the day when the kids get their surprise presents.  Some kids are lucky and get presents on the 25th of December and on the 6th of January, although the second time is usually something simple or candy.   On the 6th families also cut the traditional rosca or bread ring which has hidden small plastic dolls.  Whoever gets the doll will need to pay for the party on the 2nd of February, the day of the Candlemass.

Mexican Christmas traditions are full of teaching opportunities and reflects the richness of the Mexican folk culure.

If you want us to include another Mexican tradition that your family practiced during Christmas season, please let us know in the comments section below and we will include it in this page.  Thank you and Feliz Navidad!

› Christmas Traditions

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