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09.04.2009

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Christmas in Mexico City
Festivals in Mexico City

Christmas is one of the most extended celebrations, but in Mexico City, with a cold but still temperate and sunny weather and with an endless number of traditions, this date acquires unique characteristics that gives it an original touch.

Christmas season in Mexico City begin the third Saturday of november with the light on of Liverpool Insurgentes Store (Insurgentes Avenue corner Felix Cuevas) and coincides with the beginning of the Adviento, a month when Mexican families use to light on a candle in a pine crown each Sunday before Christmas. Other recent tradition, every year even more popular is the Fair of producers of plants and flowers on Paseo de la Reforma Avenue that takes place the last Sunday of November, a lot people come this fair to buy the traditional Christmas Eve Flowers.

Since that days, the city transforms; the gardeners of Paseo de la Reforma spread with the red of the Christmas Eve Flowers and the bright colors of the exhibition of Christmas cribs. In the Historical Centre, the facades of the building around the Zocalo look resplendent covered with metallic colorful frost ornaments and lights. Also the shopping malls, prepared for its best sale of the year, look plenty of holiday decoration, specially we recommend you to visit Galerias Insurgentes in Colonia Del Valle, one of the best ornamented and two small stores in Coyoacan located on Rio Churubusco, half a block from Leon Trotsky Museum. Actually some humble neighborhoods cover its streets with colorful paper lanterns and aluminum garlands showing an astonishing and authentic sensibility.

Other typical element of the season area the Christmas bazaars that set up around some markets. Those bazaars transform the street in small Christmas forests, with fascinating smells, ornaments, ribbons and lights that worth the visit. Two of the most tradicional christmas markets in Mexico City are the Grand Bazaar Navideño of Colonia Del Valle at the Lázaro Cárdenas Market (Coyoacan Av. Corner Romero de Terreros St.) and the one that is stablished around Coyoacan Market.

Other fact that most be mentioned is the so called “Guadalupe – Reyes marathon” , that is way mexicans know the most intense days of Christmas season that begins on December 12th with the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe and that ends on January 6th with the celebration of the Three Kings of Orient festivity. During those days are very common gift exchanges, gatherings and dinners office workers that cheers the restaurants of all the city. The nine days before Christmas Eve Mexicans celebrate the “posadas”, very funny parties where people gather with its family, friends and neighbors for having dinner, drink punch and sing the “letanias” a representation of the voyage of the virgin Mary with Saint Joseph before living birth to Jesus. This festivities, plenty of popular charm, also include the breaking of the “piñatas” a tradition brought to Mexico by the spanish missionaries during the first years of the Conquest and which consist on hitting with eyes closed and a bat a pot decorated with color paper, that represent the fight against sin for getting the fruit, sweets and toys that the pot have inside.

The theater also take part of the celebrations. In this time of year are performed the “pastorelas”, small plays that in the colonial times served for evangelize people and that nowadays are an excuse for having fun, laugh, political criticize, humor and reflexion. One of the most famous is the one performed at the National Museum of the Viceroyship, that also includes traditional dinner and a “posada”. 

Christmas day is family celebration in Mexico. People gather in their homes for having dinner, eating turkey, codfish, salad, romeritos and cider. Some people repeat that dinner for New Year’ s Eve but it is also common that some family go to restaurants and hotels. During the last years more and more people come to Reforma Avenue for celebrating the New Year at the Angel of Independence where the city governmet organizes a countdown with music spectacles and fireworks.

Christmas season end with the “Day of the Kings of Orient” one the most expected festivities of year when Mexican kids receive toys and gifts. The day is traditionally celebrated eating the “Rosca de Reyes” a cake prepared with rose water and dry fruits that contain in its interior a small figurine of a boy, that represent the lost and founding of Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem. The tradition indicates that the one that find that little figurine must pay for the breakfast with tamales on February 2nd, the day of the candles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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