Celebrate the Holidays in MexicoSeptember 7, 2020 | By Leah Freeman-Haskin
This year has proved to be one of uncertainty and unknowns. With global lockdowns and restrictions changing weekly, it’s hard to plan future travel. Many countries are keeping their doors closed to American travelers, and this holiday season, Mexico may be one of few options for an international getaway. A country known for its friendly locals, idyllic beaches, renowned cuisine, and rich culture, it’s not a bad place to spend the final weeks of what’s been a very challenging year. Here is what your holiday in Mexico could look like.
Celebrations in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende may not have access to beaches and crystal clear waters like other popular Mexican destinations along the coasts, but this jewel, located four hours north of Mexico City, is packed with charm and history. The town is especially vibrant during Christmas. December 12 is Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, the Festival of Guadalupe, which celebrates Mexico’s patron saint. Las Posadas is December 16 to December 24, when there will be daily pilgrimages to posadas (inns and hotels) in the surrounding cities to reenact Mary and Joseph when they were on their search for a shelter in Bethlehem. Celebrate these festivities with the locals and enjoy daily street festivals, traditional cuisine, and religious ceremonies.
Festival of Lights in Mexico City
Zocalo, the main square in Mexico City, is the center of Mexico’s Christmas festivities. Each year, the principal square gets transformed into a massive open-air ice rink for the enjoyment of residents, children, and tourists. The massive árbol de Navidad is also a must-see. The towering Christmas tree acts as a centerpiece in the central square, surrounded by elaborate designs of Christmas lights, creating mosaics and patterns that hang from the city’s tallest buildings.
Grab a Traditional Christmas Meal
Pork and chorizo pozole, sweet potato tamales, Mexican ponche, and Bunuelos are just a sampling of a traditional Christmas meal in Mexico. This rich menu may be the only reason you need to spend the holidays across the border. There are numerous locations throughout the country where you can indulge in your Christmas feast, but El Cardenal, Azul y Oro, and Tetetlan are excellent places to start.
Escape the Winter Chill
For many, a trip to Mexico simply means doing nothing more than sitting on the beach with a drink in hand. If you are looking to escape the winter weather back home, there are numerous beach options on both of Mexico’s coasts. Avoid the crowds and bustle of tourists by heading to Cuastecomates, a small, easy-going coastal town in Jalisco. La Quinta Gran Bahía Cuastecomates is one of the few hotels in the area. Fellow guests will be mostly local Mexican families and other tourists looking for a low-key holiday escape.
Mexico has many traditions and religious celebrations around Christmas. You are bound to see numerous nativity scenes, Christmas trees and poinsettia flowers throughout any town you visit. One of the largest events celebrated with friends and family is Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), where you will find a decadent spread of food and drink. At midnight, many people go to a Midnight Mass service, known as the ‘Misa de Gallo’ (meaning Mass of the Rooster due to the early morning time). There are also firework shows displayed on Christmas Day for an explosive celebration.
No matter what your reasons are for heading to Mexico this holiday, you will find unforgettable experiences waiting for you.