How Mexicans celebrate Christmas with Food
Food plays a central part in most Mexican celebrations, especially during the celebration of Christmas. With more than 80% of Mexican people belonging to the Catholic religion, Christmas celebrations are a big deal right across the country. The Christmas season in Mexico lasts from 16 December to 2 February. Here’s how Mexicans celebrate Christmas with Food.
Christmas celebrations in Mexico begin with Posadas, which are evening processions that run from 16 – 24 December. Neighbours take turns in playing the role of innkeepers and pilgrims. After a lot of singing, the residents or innkeepers eventually welcome the pilgrims into their homes and there is a celebration with food and drink and a piñata in the shape of a Christmas star. At the Posadas, Mexicans will serve a drink called ponche con piquete. It is a hot punch, a bit like mulled wine, and may include a shot of something alcoholic – the piquete, or sting – such as rum, brandy or tequila.
On Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), it is traditional for Mexican families to attend midnight Mass before returning home to a late-night dinner. Pavo (turkey) is a popular choice for a Mexican Christmas Eve dinner. The Christmas turkey may be roasted, or it may be served with mole; a rich sauce made of ground chilies and other ingredients.
Navidad (Christmas Day) is often a day for catching up with family and friends and eating leftovers from the Christmas Eve dinner.
Dia de Reyes
Three Kings Day is celebrated on 6 January. It celebrates the day the Three Kings visited the baby Jesus and presented him with gifts. To celebrate, Mexicans serve a traditional bread / cake called Rosca del Reyes. The cake is baked in a circular shape and contains dried fruit and spices. It is delicious served with a steaming cup of Mexican hot chocolate. In this festivity children often receive gifts as a symbol of the gifts the Kings gave to Jesus.
Día de la Candelaria
This celebration on 2 February marks 40 days after the birth of Jesus, when Mary returned to the Temple. It’s customary for friends and families to gather after a special Día de la Candelaria Mass to enjoy loads of home cooked Tamales.
If you’re in Mexico for Christmas, be sure to sample these festive dishes and experience how Mexicans celebrate Christmas with food.