The Most Common Christmas Decorations Applied In Mexico City
By Elena Tivari
Christmas in Mexico is a wonderful time, where everyone is festive and the music, dance, and rich flow of culture are almost overwhelming. Different regions of Mexico have different Christmas traditions. However, there is some sort of homogeneity in it all, which means wherever you find yourself in Mexico, you will still have the time of your life. However, at the heart of it all, is Mexico City, where all the different traditions from all over Mexico come together to create something fresh and beautiful.
Visiting Mexico City in this time of the year is absolutely mesmerizing as you will get a feel of their real culture and how they celebrate the Christmas festival. In order for you to get an amazing experience and not miss any activity during your stay, you should hire the services of a tour guide, who will advise and guide you towards having a wonderful experience.
Christmas decorations are a huge part of Christmas celebrations in Mexico. The decorations typically change with specific holidays, because Christmas in Mexico is a whole bunch of holidays strung together over several months. Here is how Mexicans celebrate Christmas, and their different decorations for each tradition in Mexico City.
As December begins, nativity scenes start to pop up all over Mexico City, in private homes and even in town squares. They are called Nacimiento locally and depict the holy family along with a bunch of other figures. Sometimes they can get very detailed, depicting even the entire village of Bethlehem. Nacimiento are usually life-sized, and they can have birds and animals, street vendors, musicians or women cooking meals.
Buildings are also included in the nativity scene in Mexico, where you can have stables and inns as described in the Bible. Some special characters that also appear include a rooster, which crows at the birth of Jesus, and the devil, which tries to mislead the shepherds. What is interesting about them is that they change over time. Characters are added to the progression of the month. For instance, Baby Jesus comes into the scene on Christmas Eve. The three kings join in on 6th January. Nacimientos are so popular in Mexico City that private collections often become family heirlooms, used year after year.
This is when Posad processions start. Posadas are processions of children that move from house to house and along the streets singing in commemoration of the story of Mary and Joseph, where they walked Bethlehem searching for a place to spend the night.
When the Posadas move from house to house, every one or two houses turn them away like Mary and Joseph were turned away in the Bible. They are then allowed into a house that has a party ready for them, where the kids enjoy lots of food and piñata.
December 24th is usually the time families go to mass together. It is common to see street processions before the La Misa Del Gallo. Fireworks and good food are also plentiful.
A popular Christmas decoration is the Flor de Noche Buena, or the red poinsettia flower. Christmas day is, however, quite a low key day in Mexico City, where most families spend time together indoors enjoying the company of each other and eating good food.
This is the El Dia de Los Santos Inocentes or the day of the innocent saints. It commemorates the day King Herod killed a bunch of babies in the Bible. The celebration of this day is similar to April Fool’s Day, which makes it light-hearted and full of pranks and tricks.
Other Mexican Christmas Decorations
Apart from the decorations listed above, you can also expect:
Ornaments and Lights
Authentic Mexican Christmas decorations are usually handmade of tin, straw or clay. They can be used in Christmas trees in place of the standard balls and angels and stars. In Mexico City, you can also get tree lights that look like chili peppers or sombreros.
The brightly colored paper mache figures are very popular in Mexico City during Christmas. They are typically filled with candy and treats, and a blindfolded child or adult tries to hit it with a stick. It is free for all affairs when it finally breaks open and the treats spill all over the floor.
In Mexico City, table decorations usually have an earth tone. The American red and green is discarded in favor of the more modest browns and earthy colors. Poinsettia centerpieces are also very common. Earth tone paper pieces are used to cover the table, along with straw placemats. Candles are placed in clay candleholders, and all the plates, cups and other dinnerware are simple and rustic.
*All pics by Pixabay.