By Viridiana Marin Marin
When we think of Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind is tacos, right? But if you think of Mexican Christmas you should know that this popular dish it’s not common on Mexican tables during this season.
As you know, Mexico was conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago, the religion and cultural influences transformed the country radically since. The food and traditions during Christmas in Mexico are a mix between pre-Hispanic and European culture.
Because around 80% of Mexicans identify as Catholic, Christmas in Mexico is an immensely popular holiday and the traditions are incredulous. So here’s a look at 5 fascinating Christmas traditions in Mexico that you won’t believe.
Christmas celebrations in Mexico start from December 12, with the anniversary of the “Guadalupe’s Virgin”, until January 6 “the three kings day”, with an extra holiday on February 2 on “Candelaria’s day”.
The term “Guadalupe-Reyes” began to be used to refer to the security operations that have been implemented in the streets of Mexico City, when pilgrims arrive at the Basilica on December 12, and they extend to “dia de reyes” on January 6.
The tradition is to take advantage of these days to lose oneself in excess food and drink as if it were a sports marathon. If you don’t believe it, there is even a movie that illustrates it.
‘Posada’ means inn or lodging, so this tradition represents Mary and Joseph searching for shelter in the Biblical Christmas story and lasts from December 16 until December 24. Families will go for twelve days to visit other houses asking for ‘posada’, singing a song in which the hosts respond and receive them with food and drink, making every day a party.
Image of Terra
Ponche con piquete is a warm fruit punch, the Mexican version of mulled wine. This punch is made with some pretty cool Mexican fruits that you might not be familiar with yet, like “tejocote”, “caña” or “guayaba”.
In Mexico, Christmas is not complete without a punch with ‘piquete’ which means “with alcohol.” The tradition is to add some tequila, rum, or mezcal into the punch to make it more interesting and perfect for the cold weather.
Image of Chilango
Christmas Eve is the main event in Mexico. It marks the end of the Posadas, which conclude with the main Christmas meal. For the family dinner on December 24, the food becomes more elaborate and the menu doesn’t include tacos.
Depending on the region and family tradition, christmas dinner may include: turkey, cod, romeritos, salads and smoked leg of pork among many more dishes.
Image of Pinterest
Recalentado is a Mexican tradition that basically consists of “reheating” the leftovers from Christmas dinner. The tradition starts when you wake up on December 25 opening gifts, having breakfast, eating and dining everything that was left from the previous night’s dinner.
There is no doubt for Mexicans that Christmas dinner tastes better the day after, if someone invites you to a reheated meal in Mexico, it means that you will probably eat a lot and for sure it will be delicious.
So, now that you know these Mexican Christmas traditions, you can be sure that a Mexican-style Christmas could be long-lasting and unforgettable.
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