Christmas Tradition Varies, South of the Border



In Mexico we celebrate Christmas in many ways. The “inns” are a very important tradition of Mexican culture. These celebrations begin nine days before Christmas, around mid-December. In them, a representation is made of the route that Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary made to Bethlehem looking for a place to stay before the birth of the Child Jesus.

During the procession, the participants light candles and sing Christmas carols, and end the tour in the house of one of the participants, who has been chosen beforehand (each night is a different house).

The celebration can be small for family, or include neighbors and friends. In some places like Veracruz, children make a version similar to the inns known as “Las Ramas,” carrying decorated altars full of branches, figures of the Virgin and Saint Joseph and toys, while singing Christmas carols and asking for money for Christmas. 

When the inns are over, we Mexicans celebrate Christmas on Dec 24, we exchange gifts because every time it is Christmas we exchange gifts. On Dec. 24, all Mexicans have a party outside their home, they can invite friends, family or teachers to celebrate Christmas. All Mexicans make a fire outside the house to talk about what they are going to do in 2020.

In the new year it is the same as in Christmas, in the new year we have a big party where we can invite anyone, all Mexicans celebrate outside their home everyone is awake all night, when the time comes to 12 a.m. everyone gets a hug and says, “Happy New Year!”

When they spend the whole celebration of the new year, everyone has to wait on Jan. 6 because Jan. 6 is the day of the wise men. It is as if it were Santa Claus but they are the wise men. We then eat  a special bread called Rozca de Reyes, it is very good.