Las Posadas: Celebrating Christmas in Mexico

Published on December 26, 2022

Whether you’re interested in traveling for the holiday season, or simply curious about how other countries mark the holiday, we’re exploring the festivities that occur in Mexico!

How Christmas Arrived in Mexico

Catholicism arrived in the 16th century, with Spanish priests bringing with them Christian holidays. These traditions influenced the indigenous culture, creating a celebration that is unique to Mexico.

Christmas in Mexico – More than just one Day a Year

For Mexicans, Christmas is a month of celebrations. Starting on December 12th through January 6th, candlelight processions, stunning nativity scenes, Spanish Christmas carols, dancing and fireworks occur throughout that period of time.

Traditions such as Christmas trees and jolly old Santa Claus have made their way into the celebrations, Spanish and indigenous culture remain at the forefront.

December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Mexicans make the pilgrimage to Mexico City to visit the Basilica of Guadalupe to visit the Virgin Mary. To mark the occasion, parades fill the streets, fireworks are set off, and buñuelos – a popular Christmastime dish – is sold by street vendors or made at home.

December 16-24: Posadas

Processions re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter during this period. The end at a different house for a fiesta every night, celebrating with food, drink and piñatas.

December 24: Nochebuena (Christmas Eve)

On this night, many families attend midnight mass and enjoy a family dinner together. The city and people’s homes are decorated with poinsettias, and fireworks to mark the occasion are also common.

January 6: Three Kings Day

Also known as Die de Reys, is when children receive gifts to symbolize those brought by the Three Wise Men. Families and friends also break together by sharing a sweet bread back in the shape of a wreath, called Rosca de Reyes.

Eat, Drink and be Merry

Christmas always includes a feast, featuring traditional Mexican dishes like tamales, pozole, bacalao, pierna, and buñuelos for a sweet treat after the mains.