How Christmas is Celebrated in Mexico

Image via Mexperience

Image via Mexperience

Hayley Reyes Leon

Mexican culture has a lot of beautiful traditions throughout the holidays from the food to the events, to the beautiful decorations. Some major highlights Mexico does are posadas, fireworks, Christmas carols and get to make many traditional dishes. Christmas to Mexico symbolizes unity and family. It’s a time where you celebrate with your family and contribute with your community. It’s a period of giving and receiving.


The practice of Las Posadas was begun by Augustinian friars near Mexico City around the year 1586. Posadas is a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 and 24. Children dress each evening in biblical attire and form a procession led by an angel, Mary, and Joseph, and followed by the adults and musicians. Every day until the end of the month, they go to a different event. Tamales, pozole, buñuelos, atole, ponche, and café de olla are some of the traditional meals served at posadas. To get through the chilly night ahead, they typically surround themselves with warm dishes. Posadas are frequently held at night. Many families can participate in it or host it. Kids are frequently given treats like oranges, peanuts, and candy. They are frequently distributed near the locations of the posadas or right after church.


One of the most popular dishes throughout Christmas time in Mexico is tamales. Tamales are made with a corn-based dough mixture that is filled with various types of meat. They are often green or red. But it may vary because many can freestyle them and do various flavors. Tamales are often served with warm drinks such as coffee, atole, champurrado, or Arroz con Leche. Tamales are strongly associated with themes of unity, celebration, family, kinship, and community. According to the Los Angeles Times, in Mesoamerica, “corn was viewed as a substance of life, and was believed that the Gods made humans from corn.”  Some traditional decorations that are used in Mexico are pinatas, traditional decorations displayed on this holiday include nativity scenes, poinsettias, and Christmas trees. They usually start putting up these decorations after thanksgiving in order to celebrate the whole holiday for the whole month. 


Christmas is a significant event in Mexico and brings people joy. It’s a moment to come together as a community and help others. It is a time when you assemble your family and partake in a multi-course supper. It’s time to laugh and smile. I find Mexico’s distinctive traditions to be really lovely. It is a moment when kindness and love are shown. It’s important to include everyone. They enjoy involving everyone and contribute without expecting anything in return because their traditions are so special and heartwarming. All that matters to them is making someone else happy. Which I think is really lovely.