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How to celebrate a Mexican Christmas

Christmas in Mexico? But there is no snow! We believe that sand is more fun and you can make a sandman instead of a snowman. If you are celebrating on this side of the border, you might be curious to know of the customs and traditions. Mexicans know how to celebrate so step out of your house or condo and go and make some new friends. Here is what you can expect. There is less commercialization than the US or Canada and more focus on spending time with friends and family but don’t worry you can still find a santa in the numerous shopping malls. He may look like he is suffering from the heat but he will still great you with a smile.

Christmas Traditions in Mexico

As you walk down Mexico’s streets during the Christmas holidays, you will see many wonderful sights, from picturesque Christmas trees in town plazas, brightly sparkling Christmas lights and other hanging decorations. Life size nativity scenes are also a common sight, and in Puerto Vallarta, you may get to see some incredible sculptures made from sand as you walk down the Malecon.

What sets Mexico apart from other countries is that Christmas is celebrated on December 24th on what is known as Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), and December 25th is the day for relaxing and eating the leftovers from the night before. On Noche Buena, Mexican families will gather in one house where they will prepare food, drinks and party to their hearts’ content until the early hours of the morning. It’s a time for unity among families and friends, where the custom of gift giving is practiced but not over indulged.  Children receive the most gifts, although their main day for gifts will be on the Three Kings Day.

How the Day of the Three Kings/ Three Wise Men is Celebrated

Every January 6th is El Dia de Reyes or El Dia de Los Tres Magos. This feast day wraps up the 12 days of Christmas. El Dia de Reyes is a highly significant Christmas tradition in Mexico, as it marks the moment in the nativity Bible story when the Three Wise Men visited Jesus and presented gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. This is one of the Christmas Traditions in Mexico for the younger generation as children will put their shoes by the door the night before in the hope that the kings will leave gifts for them.

Rosca de Reyes

A clear favorite among Christmas traditions in Mexico is the Rosca de Reyes. The Rosca is a traditional delicacy served during El Dia de Reyes; it is a sweet bread that’s shaped like a garland or crown.  Again Mexican families gather and will have a feast to celebrate the date. A ceramic Baby Jesus is placed inside the rosca before it is cooked so that when each guest cuts a slice they are looking to see if they win the baby. Whoever is lucky enough to find it is expected to host the traditional party called “Dia de Candelaria” or Candlemas Day” that’s held every February 2nd of each year.  The same people are invited for another party to eat tamales.


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