The Christmas season is upon us! Do you have your stockings hung by the fire and the Christmas tree decorated with lights? Places around the world will be celebrating the holidays with their own cultural traditions. In today’s blog, Lifestyle Villas wants to share with you some of the traditions we have in Los Cabos, Mexico!
NavidPosadas or The Posada Processions
From December 16 to Christmas Eve, the children in Mexico perform the “Posada” processions. Posada is the Spanish word for inn or lodging, and this celebration commemortates the part of the Christmas story where Joseph and Mary looked for somewhere to stay. During the Posadas, the outside of houses are decorated with evergreens, moss and paper lanterns. Each night of the Posadas, children are given candles to guide them as they proceed through the streets calling at the houses of friends and neighbors. At each door, they sing a song asking about a room, but they are told there is no room, until eventually they are told there is room, and they are invited inside for a party with food, games and fireworks.
While Christmas trees are becoming more popular across Mexico, nacimientos or nativity scenes are a more common decoration. Many families have elaborate nativity scenes in their homes or yards, and there are also a variety of public nativity scenes. They are created with an elaborate arrangement of clay, wax, wood, metal, fabric and beaded figures. The nacimientos are typically set up on December 16th. Then on December 24th, baby Jesus is added to the scene and on January 5th, the three kings are added.
A traditional form of Christmas entertainment in Mexico, Pastorelas are theatrical presentations of the shepherds (los pastores) on their way to see baby Jesus. They began centuries ago when Catholic priests would act out scenes from the bible to teach the people of Christianity. Today, the tradition has grown into more humorous stories of the eternal struggle between good and evil, with devils and angels making appearances.
Holiday Foods in Mexico
In Mexico, it is customary to have a family meal late on Christmas Eve. Below are some common foods you can expect to see during Christmastime in Mexico.
Ensalada de Noche Buena – This Mexican Christmas salad usually contains lettuce and beets, but other ingredients vary by location. These ingredients can include apples, carrots, oranges, pineapples, jicamas, pecans or peanuts, and pomegranate seeds as a garnish.
Tamales – These cornmeal dumplings can be prepared with a variety of fillings. They are wrapped in corn husks (or occasionally banana leaves) and then steamed. Due to the amount of preparation this food takes, it is a special food that is only made a few times throughout the year in large batches.
Bacalao – This dried, salted codfish starts showing up in markets and grocery stores around the holidays. The dish is of European origin, but has become a common component of a traditional Mexican feast. Bacalao a la Vizcaina is a popular recipe in which the cod is stewed with tomatoes, capers, olives and potatoes.
Pozole – This hominy soup made with pork or chicken and seasoned with chile and garlic is also a popular meal choice for the Christmas season in Mexico. It is served with garnishes of shredded lettuce or cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, avocado, oregano and lime wedges. It’s made in large batches, making it a great party food.
Bunuelos – Served with a hot drink, this crispy fried treat is like a sweet tostada which is sprinkled with sugar or doused in syrup.
Ponche Navideno – This Mexican hot fruit punch is made with tejocotes (Mexican hawthorn), guavas, apples and other fruit. It is then flavored with cinnamon and sweetened piloncillo. This warm beverage can be taken with or without a splash of alcohol.
Happy Holidays from Lifestyle Villas! With the new year just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about your 2017 vacation plans. Los Cabos offers an incredible variety of activities, food and beaches to create the experience of a lifetime! Contact Lifestyle Villas today at 1-888-655-9589 to reserve one of our luxury villas in Los Cabos!
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