If you have decided to spend your Winter holidays in the Riviera Maya it means you are not only looking to escape the harsh cold weather for warm, sandy beaches, but you and your family are ready to experience Christmas in a new way.
Christmas in Mexico is more a religious event and less a commercial opportunity. Christmas in Mexico is a time for family get togethers and seasonal recipes, not so much about big ticket items under the tree. A Christmas vacation in Mexico is getting back to the roots of the holiday season.
Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, or in English Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, on December 12 is the celebration of Mexico’s patron saint, The Virgin Mary. Local families build altars out of all of their pictures, posters, statues and paintings of the Madonna. They decorate the alters with many flowers and lights. If you are on the peninsula between December 6 and December 12 you will probably encounter the “runners of the torch” -devoted followers of the Virgin of Guadalupe running a relay race in a pilgrimage to mass in Merida, Yucatan or as far away as Mexico City.
Xcaret theme park in Playa del Carmen invites you to celebrate Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe with its annual Mañanitas de Flor y Canto Festival held on December 11. Enjoy music, dancing and costumed performances in this very colorful celebration.
Las Posadas begin on December 16 and continue through January 6. These candlelight processions re-enacting Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter can be witnessed throughout towns in the Riviera Maya. The parades are made up of individuals, usually children, dressed as the nativity scene characters. At the end of each night’s journey there will be a fiesta with singing carols, feasting and of course no Mexican celebration is complete without the breaking of a piñata!
The Christmas season doesn’t end with Christmas Day. Mexican children await the visit of the three kings on January 6, when they receive gifts. Dia de Tres Reyes celebrates the arrival of the Magi bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. This is traditionally when Mexican children receive gifts as Santa is an imported custom from the north.
So as you are planning your Winter vacation, consider giving yourself and your family new holiday experiences by immersing yourselves in the cultural traditions of Mexico all the while relaxing in the warm sunshine and refreshing waters of the Mayan Riviera.
It’s not too late to spend this Christmas on the coast! Find out about our available holiday vacation rentals.