So what's Christmas in Mexico really like?
What can you expect? The Christmas holiday in Mexico is a festive and exciting time of year!
If you are visiting during the festivities then be ready for lots of parties, good food, plays and spirits.
Mexicans have many different customs that can vary from region to region and strong traditions that are proudly displayed during this wonderful holiday.
A staggeringly large percentage of Mexicans are Catholic.
So Christmas time is a big deal.
If you ever decide to spend Christmas in Mexico, be aware that most tourist attractions, government offices, schools and universities close down or have limited hours to celebrate the holiday.
When I went to visit Guadalajara one holiday, I was quite surprised when I found some of the attractions I wanted to see were still closed! Pout.
It must have been a few days after December 25.
Well.. I should have known better.
Keep in mind that many places simply shut down until after January 6 and you'll soon find out why.
Many Mexicans will celebrate the Christmas holiday by spending time with their families and have what are called posadas and pastorelas.
Posadas, reenact the voyage that Mary and Joseph took to seek shelter before the birth of Jesus.
Everything is arranged ahead of time and the designated houses are all set and ready to "turn away" the pilgrims.
The final house which grants shelter is where the big party is at.. and is ready with drinks and food.
If children are present then a piñata is stuffed with candy and the little ones break it open for the treats inside.
Pastorelas (a pastor is a shepherd) are plays which reenact the visitation of the angel to the shepherds to announce the birth of Christ. The plays recreate their journey to visit him.
The shepherds will sometimes come across diablitos or devils which try to sabotage their voyage and cause various problems for them.
These pastorelas can be very elaborate with fancy costumes and can also be quite comical as you'll see on the video below.
Christmas begins around December 16 and will end after January 6 which is El Dia de los Reyes.. read more about it as it can be a "sneaky time." ;-)
Christmas in Mexico is full of many parties, a lot of fun and is a wonderful season to celebrate with friends, family and enjoy this special time of year.
(Stay tuned for more..)