Celebrating Christmas Traditions in Puerto Vallarta

Written by Tropicasa Realty
December 21st, 2023

Christmas is very much a “most wonderful time of the year” in Mexico, and the country has its own unique and vibrant traditions for the festive season – made especially nice with the beautiful winter weather in Puerto Vallarta! 

As a predominantly Catholic country, one of the most iconic Christmas traditions in Mexico are “Las Posadas”, which begin on December 16th and last for nine nights, symbolizing the journey of Mary and Joseph searching for a place to stay in Bethlehem, as told in the Bible. Families and neighbors will carry candles and sing songs as they make their way to a home or gathering place to celebrate with foods and drinks of the season.  

You will also see plenty of Nativity Scenes in Puerto Vallarta, called “nacimientos” in Spanish. Like the ones you may be familiar with from your home country, these displays feature figures of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus, as well as other characters such as the Three Wise Men, shepherds, and animals. However, here it is common to also have the addition of some include local touches, like depictions of Mexican villages or indigenous traditions. 

Not surprisingly, in Mexico music plays a central role, as it does in most all celebrations. You may already be familiar with "Feliz Navidad" and, even if you don’t know all the words, join in, and sing along! Mexicans are much less shy about singing in public than their American and Canadians neighbors.  

For new residents to Mexico that like to attend midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, services will be held in Puerto Vallarta. Mass will be given in Spanish, but the sentiments will easily bridge any language gap. 

After mass, it’s time to eat and no Mexican Christmas would be complete without indulging in traditional holiday foods. Tamales, pozole, and buñuelos are just a few of the delicious dishes that are commonly enjoyed during the Christmas season. 

But the Christmas season doesn’t end there. On January 6th for Three Kings Day, or “Dia de los Reyes”, children receive gifts and families gather to share a special sweet bread called a “Rosca de Reyes”, with a small figurine hidden inside. Whoever finds the figurine is responsible for hosting a party on February 2nd, known as “Día de la Candelaria”, as the end to the season. 

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