Mexican Christmas & December Holidays
Mexico has a special enchantment when it comes to December traditions. Although influenced by the Catholic religion, for the most part, they are really about one of Mexico’s main traits: the importance that Mexican people have for their families.
Family remains a priority for most Mexican people and, because of this, when December comes, all the festivities are built around family communion and parties.
One of the best little-known December traditions in Mexico, is the ‘Posada’. These are parties organized by the whole family and devoted to the entertainment of the youngest children in the family, as well as the remembrance of the birth of baby Jesus. “Posadas” (it comes from the term ‘Posada’ which can be translated as “Shelter” or “Inn”, in reference to the pilgrims asking for shelter at various places so that baby Jesus could be born; they were asking for ‘Posada’. They take place during the 9 days prior to Christmas Eve, not necessarily at the same house, it can be a neighborhood activity, or most commonly, a family activity, so that the whole family can visit the different houses of all family members and thus have a full family activity to gather for.
The one tradition of a Posada you might be familiar with is the world famous “Piñata”. Piñatas have their origin in China, although some historic data shows there were versions of them in the Pre-hispanic Mexico. Piñatas can be made out of a clay pot and then covered in colorful paper or be made only of papier-mâché. Then, various types of fruits and candy are put inside, and occasionally even money. The Piñata is then hung by ropes in a patio area and the adults controlling the ropes make it as much of a tease as possible so that the blindfolded child, on their turn, has as much trouble as possible in trying to hit and break the Piñata. Humor is a key ingredient in this Piñata game tradition and it is one that all children look forward to, as it really is the highlight of a Posada.
Along with the “Posada” tradition, the adornments play a key role in the celebration of Christmas and December holidays in Mexico. Home décor is very important, and the originality and flamboyant elements in it are the main focus for a home’s outstanding nature throughout December.
At the Discover Mexico Giftshop, we have a range of handcrafted Christmas ornaments and decorations for you to take home with you. These unique items will help you bring the warmth of Mexico into your home this Christmas. There are papier-mâché Christmas tree decorations, assorted candies, liquors and many other treats. We also sell the ‘Nativity Scene’ which is the centerpiece of Mexican Christmas decorations. This is made using various natural materials including corn husks, and is guaranteed to impress your visitors for its originality and authentic feel.