If you thought Mexico didn’t have Christmas towns, think again.
In Tlalpujahua and Chignahuapan, the Christmas spirit is present year-round since these two magical towns are Mexico’s top producers of Christmas ornaments. And once again this year, both will host their traditional ornaments fairs to attract shoppers to hundreds of stalls selling hand-blown glass ornaments.
Located in the Sierra Norte of the state of Puebla and a three-hour drive from Mexico City, Chignahuapan is the largest producer of Christmas ornaments in the country. With more than 300 manufacturing shops in town, this industry provides a living to around 80% of the community’s families. It produces around 50 million pieces per year, sold in Mexico and abroad.
Chignahuapan’s ornaments fair starts on Nov. 25 and runs for 10 days in the town’s city center until Dec. 4. Besides the artisanal baubles, people will also be able to buy real pine Christmas trees, hence its name, The Christmas Tree and Ornaments Fair.
The fair will also host cultural, artistic and sporting activities, along with food stalls and other types of seasonal decorations. Half a million visitors are expected to attend.
As for Tlalpujahua, in the state of Michoacán, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Mexico City, its ornaments fair already started on Sept. 28 and runs until Dec. 18.
With the town’s annual production estimated at 40 million pieces, 70% of Tlalpujahua inhabitants work in the industry. More than half of items produced here are sold internationally to the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan and Malaysia, according to a 2021 Reuters report.
Since the pandemic, many of the stores in Tlalpujahua also now sell online to consumers, with shipping costs ranging from 100 to 200 pesos (US $5-$10).