Thinking about visiting Mexico in December?
Mexico is a country rich in culture and tradition. A trip to Mexico in December is unlike any other time of year. Festivities take place from December 12 through January 6th. It is customary to share gifts and culinary feasts with family and friends. Besides this, there are several unique religious holidays too. Therefore, if you are about to visit Mexico in December, you are in for a real treat.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the Riviera Maya are a mixture of old traditions and modern ideas, that together create wonderful festivities. To help you get the most out of your stay in Mexico in December, here is a brief guide to the season´s festivities and customs.
VISIT MEXICO IN DECEMBER
From December 16 – 24, Mexicans go from house to house and reenact Joseph and Mary searching for a place to stay. “Posada” is also the word Mexicans use for “Christmas party.” Las Posadas actually hail from Spain, not Mexico. However, for the most part, they are celebrated only in Mexico and parts of South America.
December 28 marks the remembrance of the story in the bible in which King Herod orders the execution of male babies in Bethlehem. Similar to April Fool’s Day, Mexicans commonly play pranks on their family and friends.
In Mexico, Christmas Eve is typically spent with family and friends. In general, dinner starts late around 11pm or 12am. Typical foods include turkey, romeritos, bacalao, apple salad, ponche and sidra. Similar to many other countries, most families attend midnight mass. On Christmas Day the celebration continues with leftovers and the exchanging of gifts. Christmas Day is a public holiday in Mexico.
NEW YEAR´S EVE
For the most part, Mexicans enjoy a late dinner with family and friends on New Year’s Eve. After dinner we go out to celebrate after midnight. Along with fireworks and firecrackers, there are also some unique traditions that we follow in Mexico in order to see in the New Year. One of these is eating 12 grapes at midnight (one for each month) and wearing red (for love) or yellow (for money) underwear.
On 6th January, the 12th day after Christmas, we celebrate the three wise men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Mexican children receive gifts on this day, brought by the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltazar. And of course, if you are wondering, Mexican children also receive Christmas gifts on December 25th.
The Rosca de Reyes is a pastry, decorated with dry fruit. We eat Rosca de Reyes on January 6. Small, white plastic baby Jesus tokens are hidden in the bread. If you receive one in your slice, tradition dictates that you must buy tamales for El Dia de la Candelaria (February 2).
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Lomas Travel!