Contrary to the United States’ celebration of Christmas only limited to December 25th, in Mexico, Christmas is celebrated from December 12th to January 6th. In Mexico, Christmas is referred to as “Navidad”. From December 16th to Christmas Even, children perform the “Posada” processions or “Posadas”. Posada is the Spanish term for Inn or Lodging. There are nine Posadas total. The outside of the houses are decorated with evergreens, moss, and paper lanterns. People celebrate the part of the Christmas story where Joseph and Mary looked for somewhere to stay.
Also contrary to the how Christmas is depicted in the United States, in Mexico the Christmas weather is warm and mild. Families shop for gifts, ornaments, and good things to eat in the market stalls, called puestos. They decorate their own homes with lilies and evergreens. Family members cut intricate designs in brown paper bags to make lanterns called farolitos. They place a candle inside the farolitos and set them along sidewalks, windowsills, rooftops, and outdoor walls to illuminate the community with the Christmas spirit.
The ninth evening of las posadas is called Buena Noche, Christmas Eve. Children lead a procession to church and place a figure of Christ Child in the nativity scene, called nacimiento. They then attend midnight mass and Santa Claus often visits with presents. The days leading up to Christmas are spent reenacting the Holy Family’s nine day journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter in a posada, or inn.
Many children then receive gifts on the eve of the Twelfth Night, January 5, from the Reyes Magos, the Three Kings who pass through on their way to Bethlehem. Children leave their shoes on the windowsill and find them with gifts the next morning.
Then a religious service is held on Candlemas to mark the end of the Christmas season in Mexico.
Thank you for visiting the LOIT and Associates blog, a Mexican business attorney. We write to inform people about real estate and doing business in Mexico.