CHRISTMAS IN MEXICO
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I’ve been located in Mexico now for approximately six months, in various cities, and can say I’m truly amazed at the splendid culture, tradition, and history. Mexico indeed provides as fantastic a Christmas experience as any country in the world.Christmas in Mexico traditionally runs from December 12th until January 6th. Let’s take a look at five of the best places to spend Christmas in Mexico.
Mexico City is one of the most marvelous places to spend Christmas in the world. That’s right, I said the world. In Mexico, public squares are known as Zócalos. The Zócalo in Mexico City rivals any Christmas display. It is is decorated with a towering Christmas tree (in the neighborhood of 40 feet tall) and an ice rink. There are also nativity scenes placed in the Zócalo and on Paseo de la Reforma. The Antara Fashion Hall is famous for it’s Winter Wonderland scene. Turibus, which normally offers the open top sight-seeing buses in cities around Mexico, has a Festive Route so you can see the lights from above. The decorations are tree-mendous!!
I spent three months in Quintana Roo, when I first came to Mexico. Tulum is one of the crown jewels of the state and like much of the rest of Mexico, offers a great Christmas celebration. It may not be a traditional Christmas, but you’re essentially guaranteed perfect temperatures, stunning beaches such as Playa Ruinas and Playa Paraiso with powdery sand, and turquoise water. There will be Las Posadas, which in Tulum is really a big street Christmas Party and after Christmas Eve mass at midnight, the parties and feasts will be hopping. You will be located near a plethora of ruins if you enjoy history.
I’ve been in Puebla for approximately thirty five days and can definitively say this is one of the best cities for Christmas decorations. The Zocalo here in Puebla City, located three blocks from where I am situated, is a fantastic display consisting of a large lit up ornament you can walk in to take photos, matching reindeer to take photos between and a large Christmas tree across from the Municipal Palace which is also lit up. While in Puebla, one can also travel a short distance to the Villa Iluminada, the Christmas display in the magical town of Atlixco. Atlixco is a beautiful, colorful village which has a walkthrough Christmas town complete with singing reindeer, a 25ft Christmas tree, and the three wise men.
In Oaxaca, the Christmas festivities commence on December 23rd with an event known as Noche de Rábanos (The Night of the Radishes). The first exposition is believed to have occurred on December 23, 1897 at the Jardin de Is Constitución. The festival is an opportunity for the growers to display their talent utilizing radishes in special designs. Many of the designs are nativities and religious themes. On December 24th, known as La Noche Buena, Oaxaca’s Christmas celebration is predicated upon “calendas” and “posadas”. Calendas are essentially large floats, many with nativity scenes on them. The calenda is the parade of floats. Visiting Oaxaca at Christmas will overwhelm your senses with a supremely magical experience.
San Cristóbal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas is another wonderful place to spend Christmas in Mexico. The indigenous name of San Cristobal in the native Tzotzil is Jovel. Someone in Puebla told me last week that they weren’t in the Christmas spirit because Mexico didn’t feel cold like home in Switzerland; well Chiapas provides an authentically cold winter if you are looking for that frosty Christmas spirit. Or if you feel like having winter give you the cold shoulder! The whole state of Chiapas celebrates the Feast of Guadalupe and in San Cristobal, there is a winter festival with a skating rink in the Zocalo (public square). The Chiapas Highlands are well known for the roaring waterfalls and gushing rivers.