Christmas Eve is one of the biggest holiday of the year, especially for Catholicism countries like the US or Europe nations. Although have a hot weather and sun shining during all year round, Mexico still celebrate Christmas, yet in their own way.
Preparation for Christmas Day
If Americans show up their huge decorated pines in squares, parks or plazas, the same is true in Mexico. You can easily find big lightened trees with Christmas decorations standing in the open square right in front of the main church in San Miguel de Allende at this time of the year. Or watching gorgeous Christmas trees set up in some Guanajuato’s shopping mall and by-hill houses.
However, there are no shopping days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday held up. Selling and buying activities seem slows down in Mexico’s cities at this time of the year. Yet, people still go to grocery stores or supermarkets to purchase decorating items. Mexicans usually decorate their house with a model of manger or a life-size baby Jesus. This baby Jesus does not look like a poor carpenter’s son as usual , he glows with shiny polyester glittering clothes.
The unique point is all the best and the most beautiful decorations will be saved for the right next holiday called The Three Kings Day, a bigger holiday of Mexico.
Coming to their Christmas dinner, moms will buy a big turkey which by that time sold in many butchers and supermarkets. Besides. there will be tamales and some traditional Mexican cakes at dinner.
If you are super busy at this time of the year and hardly have time to shop. Don’t get panic as shops as well as every works would be opened till the last minutes of the Christmas Day.
Similarly to other countries, you would feel Christmas atmosphere from Christmas melodies since a week before. However, it is not a typical “Christmas Carol” but a Mexican “posadas” song list which is sang by people wearing as José and Mariá. Then another rhythm starts and kids begin playing Pinãta. How “Mexico” it is!
During Christmas day
Mexico Christmas night, called Midnight Mass is such a noisy night. It is a valuable time of the year when Mexican families gather around and have dinner together. The most special point is dinner will be held through all the night and endless until the sun rises. So as the fireworks will.
Therefore, there are not any shops or activities happening the next day. The whole city is covered in peace and quiet as everyone has to take a rest after a crazy night. Yet, Christmas Eve in Mexico is quite short as all of them come back to work as usual right in afternoon the same day. There are only grass deer and handmade manger reminding you about the holiday.
However, if you are far from your families and have no relatives to spend time with in this special time. You still can to experience Christmas Day with friends by opening presents, drinking hot choco and eating breakfast then joining in a big party. By the next morning, just hang out with others on Boxing Days parties.
After 12 days since Christmas
The 12th day of Christmas Eve is the more important and far bigger holiday named the Three Kings Day or the Epiphany. That is why children still have not gone to school by now.
Similarly to Santa Claus who give children gifts at Christmas night, kings of the Epiphany will ride a camel and throw candy during their route as well as put kids’ presents right next to their shoes. They are used to be put in the shoes but then, how could you put a bike in such tiny shoes? In order to send a thank and a warm hi for kings and their helpers, children will leave sweets and hays in their shoes in front of the doors.
By the night of the Three Kings Day, there are, once again, parties, big meals, fireworks and so on. Moreover, it is not a true Three Kings Day without Rosca de Reyes, a Mexican cake representing a king’s crown or wealth. The dinner also consist traditional tamales and cups of hot chocolate.
To conclude, Christmas Day in Mexico despite of the similarities to others, owns some unique features that couldn’t find in anywhere else. It is worthy and interesting to try somethings new in such an annually event.