Christmas Traditions from Mexico
By Betsy Carranza and Rigo Macias
During the Christmas season, the weather is warm and mild in Mexico. This is the time of year when the Mexican celebration of Christmas, called Las Posadas, takes place. Candle-lit processions, beautiful nativity scenes, Spanish Christmas carols, dancing, and fireworks are all part of the festivities. While Christmas trees and Santa Claus have made an appearance in Mexican celebrations, the holidays are deeply rooted in Spanish and indigenous cultures.
Christmas is celebrated in Mexico from December 12th to January 6th. Children usually perform ‘Posada’ processions or Posadas from December 16th through Christmas Eve. Posada is a Spanish word that means “inn” or “lodging.”
There are a total of nine Posadas. They commemorate the time when Joseph and Mary were looking for a place to stay, according to the Christmas myth. The outsides of houses are decorated with evergreens, moss, and paper lanterns during the Posada celebration. A Posada party is held in a different residence each night.
On Christmas Eve, at the final Posada, a manger and shepherd figures are placed on the board of a Nativity scene. After finding the final Posada house, a figurine of baby Jesus is placed in the manger and families attend a midnight church service. Following the church service, there are usually fireworks to welcome the beginning of the Christmas season.