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Did you know that celebrations for Christmas in Mexico begins from December 12th, and continues till January 6th? January 6th is when Christians celebrate Epiphany — the feast of the three kings. Plus there is an additional day of Christmas celebrated on the 2nd of February.
From the 16th to the 24th of December, the children take part in the Posada, the religious festival of“Las Posadas” (The Inns), commemorating Joseph and Mary’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where baby Jesus was born. Posada means a place of shelter like the “inn.”
The Posada is celebrated for nine days before Christmas. The last day of celebrations end on Christmas Eve.
People go from house to house re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter, singing Christmas hymns, ending with a feast held at the home of the host of Posada.
Passengers also ride a bus during the Posada procession, and as they pass a church, they make the sign of the cross, and kiss their thumb as a sign of respect for the church.
Hosts of the Posada take on the roles of the inn keepers, while guests act as pilgrims, also known as Los Peregrinos.
Each year a new host is chosen for the Posada celebrations.
The host has to buy tamales for the whole congregation on the 2nd of February.
It is interesting to note how a host is chosen for the celebrations!
The hidden figurine of baby Jesus in “The Rosca de Reyes” an oval shaped brioche, filled with candied fruit also decorated as toppings, is served on the last day of the celebrations which falls on the 6th of January — Wise Men’s Day.
The person who finds the figurine of baby Jesus (el muñeco) in the Rosca de Reyes, has to host the party on the additional Christmas day celebration, held on February 2nd, known as the Day of the Virgin of Candelaria.
“The Feast of the Purification, a holiday, which commemorates the presentation of Christ in the temple, and the purification of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on the feast day of the Virgin of Candelaria.
Tamale — cornmeal dumplings with a variety of fillings, a traditional yearly Christmas spread, is served together with other delicious Mexican foods like Ensalada de Noche Buena (Mexican Christmas Salad), which a is combination of colorful fruits and vegetables, served after dinner.
In Mexico, Christmas is all about the beautiful re-enactment of age old traditions, in line with the true meaning of Christmas.
It is definitely a great way to keep family values, and traditions alive.
Thank you for reading.
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