Monday, June 17, 2024

En Breve Navidad: A tour of Christmas around Mexico

San Miguel de Allende’s Christmas Eve posada

San Miguel de Allende, one of the best cities to spend Christmas according to Condé Nast magazine, will host the last posada of its holiday season on Christmas Eve. A posada is a Mexican Christmas tradition in which families and friends gather to recreate Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. It traditionally ends with the breaking of a piñata. 

Since Dec. 16, San Miguel has celebrated public posadas in different neighborhoods across the city. But the Gran Posada (Great Posada) will happen on Saturday at 7 pm, at the main square (Jardín) in front of  the famous pink parish church (La Parroquia). 

The posada will end with the symbolic act of putting baby Jesus to sleep in the monumental nativity scene’s manger.  

Christmas festival in Guadalajara’s centro histórico

The centro histórico of Guadalajara will host Ilusionante: Festival de Invierno 2022 (Illusionist: Winter Festival 2022) until Jan. 8. The festival has a second location at the Solidaridad park, located West of the city.

The downtown festival includes a light show that illuminates the façade of colonial buildings every weekend night with projected images.There are also snow machines, mechanical games and many other shows and activities. 

For New Year’s Eve, a firework show will happen at the stroke of midnight. 

Brilla Fest at the foot of the Popocatépetl

A two-hour drive from Mexico City will bring you to Atlixco, a small town in Puebla at the foot of the active Popocatépetl volcano, which hosts the “Brilla Fest” at the Aerodrome.

Photo: Brilla Fest Facebook

The festival will run every weekend until Jan. 1, and among the activities included are a light show, a toy workshop,Christmas story-telling, fireworks, a monumental Christmas tree, 3D magical tunnel parades, and pastorelas (a traditional theatrical show depicting the Biblical story of shepherds in search of baby Jesus in Bethlehem). 

A white Christmas in Arteaga, Coahuila

The Pueblo Mágico of Arteaga, in southern Coahuila, will experience below-freezing temperatures starting Thursday night until Christmas Day. Snowfall is also expected in the Sierra de Arteaga and the mountainous regions of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. Arteaga is one of Mexico’s few skiing destinations.

Photo: Pueblos Mágicos

A busy Christmas weekend in Querétaro 

The city of Querétaro will host celebrations for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including a lullaby for baby Jesus on Saturday at 5pm in Jardín Zenea and a parade through downtown with floats representing various Biblical scenes.

This year the parade  celebrates its 195th anniversary. 

On Christmas Day, starting at 7 pm, young students will take to the streets singing traditional Mexican carols known as villancicos, in an event that’s called Verbena de Navidad.

La Rama, a unique Christmas tradition in Veracruz

Since the Spanish conquistadors  arrived in Veracruz in 1519, millions of migrants have entered Mexico through Veracruz’s port. Such an influx of people created a unique blend of European, African and Indigenous cultures in the region. Owing to that mix of ethnicities, a special Christmas tradition was born in Veracruz: La Rama (The Branch). 

Pre-Hispanic communities in the region of Sotavento celebrated a festivity during the month of December in which they would walk carrying a branch that represented nature’s renewal.  

This ancient  festivity, combined with African rituals and Christian traditions, created today’s practice of walking the streets carrying an adorned branch while singing songs about the birth of baby Jesus.  

With reports from Líder Empresarial, Players of Life Gdl, La Vanguardia, El Sol de Puebla, Debate, and Al Calor Político

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