Christmas Traditions in Mexico

There are various regional Christmas season traditions. In Alvarado and Tlacotalpan, there is the Fiesta Negrohispana, which is a celebration of African identity in Mexico which runs from December 16 to the 24th.

In Oaxaca, a major event during this time is the feast day of the patroness of the state, the Virgin of Solitude on December 18. She is honored with precessions called calendas, with allegorical floats and costumes. The traditional food for this is called buñuelos, a fried pastry covered in sugar. In coastal areas, her image is often brought to shore by boat, accompanied by other boats with brass bands.

In the city of Oaxaca on December 23, there is an unusual event called La Noche de los Rabanos (Night of the Radishes). Oversized radishes are carved into elaborate figures. Originally these were for nativity scenes but today there is a major competition in which the vegetables are carved in all kinds of figures.

In the Xochimilco borough of Mexico City, January 6 is important as the day that the best known Child Jesus image, the Niñopa, changes “hosts” or the family that will take care of the over 400-year-old image for the year. In the Nativitas section of the borough, there is a parade of the Wise Men, sometimes with real camels.

Christmas Recipes in Mexico

Both blackberry and apricot jam are produced in great quantity in late summer and enjoyed during the cooler months, especially in the Sierra Madre Oriental region, where fruit orchards abound. Either one may be used in these cookies.

This recipe has appeared in several places, probably because it is the quintessential Mexican Christmas cookie recipe. The first time I saw it was in Patricia Quintana's Mexico's Feasts of Life.

Ingredients

· 1 ½ cups butter, at room temperature

· 1/3 cup sugar

· 3 cups flour

· 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

· 4 eggs, separated

· ¾ cup sugar

· juice of 1 lime

· 2 ½ cups fruit preserves

· ½ cup Grand Marnier

· ½ cup confectioners' sugar

· ¾ cup chopped walnuts

Mix the butter, 1/3 cup sugar and flour until well blended. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and mix until a large ball can be formed.

Knead the dough 4 to 5 minutes, dust with flour, cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two cookie sheets.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, lower mixer speed and gradually add ¾ cup sugar and the lime juice. Beat for 1 minute, until the mixture is shiny.

On a large, floured surface roll out the dough. Transfer it to the greased cookie sheets and continue to roll out until very thin.

Combine the preserves and the Grand Marnier, then spread the mixture over the dough. Cover the preserves with the beaten egg white mixture and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and chopped walnuts.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until egg whites are golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven, allow to cool and cut into squares. Makes about 2 ½ dozen.

Christmas Songs in Mexico!

The tradition has variations, but here are the basics. On each of the nine days before Christmas, a procession of children and their families reenacts Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. The procession usually carries lit candles. Statues of Joseph leading a donkey carrying Mary may also be carried, or sometimes the children dress up as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, angels, etc. When they come to a house, the children and the people of the house sing the song of the peregrinos (pilgrims). In some places, the children may be rejected at a couple of houses first, but they always eventually arrive at a home where Mary and Joseph are recognized and welcomed in. In this house, where it has been prearranged to hold that night's posada party, the pilgrims enter, and everyone may spend some time together singing Christmas songs and praying (the rosary is probably the most popular posada prayer in this Catholic country). Finally, there is a party with a pinata full of treats for the children.

christmas religious activities in mexico!

There are various regional Christmas season traditions.[1] In Alvarado and Tlacotalpan, there is the Fiesta Negrohispana, which is a celebration of African identity in Mexico which runs from December 16 to the 24th.[1]

In Oaxaca, a major event during this time is the feast day of the patroness of the state, the Virgin of Solitude on December 18. She is honored with precessions called calendas, with allegorical floats and costumes. The traditional food for this is called buñuelos, a fried pastry covered in sugar. In coastal areas, her image is often brought to shore by boat, accompanied by other boats with brass bands.[1]

In the city of Oaxaca on December 23, there is an unusual event called La Noche de los Rabanos (Night of the Radishes). Oversized radishes are carved into elaborate figures. Originally these were for nativity scenes but today there is a major competition in which the vegetables are carved in all kinds of figures.[1]

In the Xochimilco borough of Mexico City, January 6 is important as the day that the best known Child Jesus image, the Niñopa, changes “hosts” or the family that will take care of the over 400-year-old image for the year. In the Nativitas section of the borough, there is a parade of the Wise Men, sometimes with real camels.[2]

gift giving in mexico!

  • Gift giving in Mexico symbolizes affection and appreciation and not giving gifts on some occasions may be received as a deliberate discourteous act.
  • When invited into a home, the Mexican gift giving etiquette is to bring a gift. Flowers are the best gift; gift alternatives are wine, gourmet candies or cakes, or a small gift from your home country.
  • If giving a gift of flowers, white flowers are a good gift, as they are considered uplifting.
  • If invited to into a home if the family has children it is thoughtful to bring them a small gift such as: toys associated with your home country, computer software or electronics that cannot be purchased within Mexico, or sports team apparel from your home country.
  • There are no particular rules in regards to gift wrapping.

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