What do Mexicans eat for Christmas dinner

¡Feliz Navidad! - How do you celebrate Christmas in Mexico?

Mexico is the most Catholic country in the world after Brazil. Accordingly, Christmas has a very special meaning here and is celebrated in a big way. In particular, the pre-Christmas period - which, depending on individual anticipation and motivation, can begin as early as mid-November - is used to the full.

Different customs and traditions characterize the festivity in Mexico. Typical Mexican dishes and lavish decorations should not be missing. The motto “better too much than too little” applies particularly to the decoration: what may seem exaggerated and discreetly kitschy to some is quite normal in Mexico.

At the same time, the religious significance of the event is also strongly expressed in the Mexican Christmas traditions.

Here is a small summary of the most important Mexican Christmas traditions:


The official start of the pre-Christmas period is December 16. On this date the first takes place Posada instead of (Posada means hostel). The search for accommodation by Maria and Joseph is simulated. Two people disguised as Joseph and Mary go from door to door to ask for entry. A group of people accompanies them with candles and traditional Christmas carols (villancicos).

Maria and Joseph (including the rest of the procession) are only allowed to enter at the previously defined destination. This is where the Posada in a Fiesta Mexicana with dance, music and typical Mexican food and drinks at Christmas time, including for example buñuelos, tamales, ponche and chocolate caliente.

From the start of December 16, in Mexican cities, villages and families take place almost every day Posadas instead of. Each time they end up in a different house.


The Piñatas are used in Mexico not only on children's birthdays but also at Christmas, they are often part of the Posadas or the Christmas party on Christmas Eve. The cardboard figures, wrapped in crepe paper, are filled with sweets and toys and sometimes fruit. The traditional form of Piñata is that of a 7-pointed star. The children in turn try that Piñata smashing it blindfolded with a stick so that the contents fall out. From then on, the principle “the strongest wins” applies: all children try to pick up as many sweets as possible.


As Nacimientos the Christmas cribs are called in Mexico. They are much more important in Mexico than the Christmas tree, which only became part of the Mexican Christmas tradition through European influences. The start of construction for the Christmas cribs is also December 16.

The main characters in none Nacimiento May be missing are Mary and Joseph, some stable animals and shepherds as well as angels who guard the manger. The baby Jesus is not added until December 24th to symbolize his birth. The three wise men, which is also an obligatory part of the Nacimientos join the meeting on January 5th. So that the work of building it is worth it, the Christmas cribs usually remain until February 2nd.


Both Pastorelas are plays that represent the shepherds' journey to Bethlehem and are typical of the Christmas season in Mexico.

The essence of the plot is that the shepherds must overcome the obstacles that the devil puts in their way. In the end this succeeds with the help of the angels and the shepherds can hand over their gifts to the newly born baby Jesus.

The most popular Pastorelas are performed in the city of Tepotzotlán in the Estado de México.

December 24th: Nochebuena

Christmas Eve will be similar to many European cultures (Nochebuena) in Mexico it is typically celebrated as part of the (large) family. This includes the cozy get-together at the Christmas tree, which, by the way, is rarely a real tree.

The family Christmas dinner usually takes place very late. Turkey is a typical Christmas dish in Mexico, but many families have their own traditions when it comes to the festival food. The gifts are usually not unwrapped until after midnight.

Family meals are also held on December 25th, and this is often a large leftover meal: Everything that was not managed the day before is served again on Christmas Day.

January 6th: The Day of the Magi

Christmas in Mexico is not over on December 25th. Similar to Spain, the day of the Magi on January 6th plays a much bigger role here than in other western cultures.

What is particularly gratifying for most children: barely 2 weeks after December 24th, there are already presents again! According to the original tradition before the invention of Santa Claus, it is the three wise men who bring the children their presents on the morning of January 6th. Accordingly, children's wish lists are usually also dedicated to kings.

A compulsory part of January 6th is not only the gifts but also the Rosca de Reyes, a pastry decorated with glazed fruits. Hidden inside is a small figure that represents the Christ Child. Anyone who finds this in his piece must celebrate the celebration of the 40 days after Christmas on February 2 Día de la Candelaria (Mariä Candlemas) align and to all guests Tamales invite.

The Christmas tradition in Mexico is one of many aspects that show how multifaceted and detailed the Mexican culture is. Regardless of whether you spend Christmas in Mexico, Germany or another culture: We at WMP Mexico Advisors wish youFeliz Navidad and a happy new year! If you want to learn more about traditional Mexican festivities, take a look at our post on Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) or find out 10 amazing facts about Mexico.

/ by Ilka Truelsen