While Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) is traditionally a bigger celebration in Mexico than Dia de Navidad (Christmas Day),families make the most of the holiday and spend time together,enjoying leftovers and sharing stories while recuperating from the previous night’s festivities.
Although a few gifts are often exchanged on Christmas Eve,and some families have started doing this on Christmas Day as well,the main day for holiday gift giving in Mexico remains January 6th,which is known as Three Kings Day,or El Dia de Reyes. This leaves Christmas Day open as a time for relaxation and reflection on the year that has passed,while looking forward at the year to come. In fact,many people throughout Mexico take the last two weeks of December entirely off work to visit friends and family during what is one of the largest nationwide fiestas of the year.
In some areas,Nativity plays,known in Mexico as Pastorelas,are held at the local churches on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the general public to watch and enjoy. In addition,Mexico’s most popular vacation and ex-pat destinations are full of holiday acitivites for locals and visitors alike,including the 12 Days of Christmas celebration in Puerto Vallarta and Christmas dinner on the beach in Playa del Carmen. In addition,Santa Claus will reportedly be making special appearances at resorts throughout Cancun on Christmas Day,even though he is not traditionally a part of Mexican custom.
Although the way Christmas is celebrated in Mexico has changed over the last several decades,one thing that remains the same is the importance that is placed on spending time with family. Also,growing international influence has brought Christmas trees to many parts of the country in recent years,despite the fact that this custom traditionally comes from Europe.
In general,Christmas Day,along with the time leading up to it and continuing through the New Year,is a very happy time in Mexico,characterized by a remarkably strong cultural,religious and spiritual heritage.
What is your favorite way to spend Christmas Day? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments section below!