Mexican Christmas Traditions

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We´re finally here. Eight hours traveling with a squirmy toddler would test anyone’s patience, but being with my family again makes it so worth it. One of the greatest things about Christmas is tradition, making new ones and reliving old ones. Traditions are a simple way of transmitting our values and our culture, making us part of history, thus becoming the glue between the past and the present.

Mexican culture has many Christmas traditions. They vary from family to family and region to region, but there are some that transcend all differences and have been part of the culture for centuries.

Las Posadas:

Are part of a Roman Catholic tradition called a Novena, which in this case consists of 9 days of prayer prior to Christmas in order to obtain special graces. The  passing of time and the jovial nature of the culture has transformed this tradition into 9 days of partying. Most posadas include the chanting of a popular song which mimics the journey of Mary and Joseph trying to find a place in the Inn, singing Christmas carols, the breaking of the piñata, and of course a small feast.

Mexican Star Pinata via Shutterstock

The Piñata:

Is usually in the shape of a star with seven peaks, representing the 7 deadly sins. The person with the stick represents the faith, and the candy represents the temptation of evil. Pretty deep stuff! Even though the religious significance continues to get watered down through the years, the kids really enjoy it and some grown ups do too.

Noche Buena (Christmas Eve):

Christmas dinner in Mexico is usually celebrated on Christmas Eve, instead of Christmas day. Some families attend midnight mass, and some don´t. It is on this night when the baby Jesus( a large figurine) is laid down to rest in the manger and everyone adores and celebrates his birth. The dinner differs from region to region, but in our case we have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes,tamales, pozole, menudo,  ponche, and beer or wine. Dessert would be buñuelos or my Tia Laura´s famous frozen cheesecake.

Santa?

Santa is becoming more popular in Mexico, especially in the border towns, but most kids get their gifts in January 6th, on the feast of the Epiphany. On that day we remember how the Magi brought gifts to the Christ child, thus also bringing gifts to the children of the world (A.K.A. Mexico).

To be continued………………………

 

 

Dora's Table http://dorastable.wordpress.com

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