There’s so much to explore in the majestic country of Mexico! This vibrant country is already popular for long vacations and irresistible foods. But this blog is here to dive into something else: Mexican holidays and traditions!
Strap in and get ready to explore some of the most popular holidays and traditions in Mexico. Don’t worry; we’ll also answer some of the most pressing questions you’re likely to have, like how to send stuff to Mexico! Spoiler – the best way to send gifts to Mexico is by using the experts, GiftBasketsOverseas.com!
A Brief Look at Popular Mexican Holidays and Traditions
Mexico has a rich history and a host of colorful celebrations. Many Mexican holidays and traditions celebrated across the country get unique interpretations from city to city. Of course, families personalize the holidays even further. So if you want to surprise friends and family during particular holidays, you should ask them about their specific celebrations. This will give you an idea of when to send gifts and deepen your connection with them!
We can’t answer for everyone in Mexico, but we can offer you a brief glimpse into the most popular holidays and the traditions that accompany them! If you’ve ever asked yourself, “what are some holiday traditions in Mexico” – here are a few short answers!
Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead is one of the most popular holidays in Mexico. You can find people participating in this celebration around the world. Dia de los Muertos celebrations last over two days, November 1st and 2nd. Many families build altars in their homes to commemorate their lost loved ones. Filled with photographs and samplings of their loved ones’ favorite foods and drinks, these altars are quite festive.
Marigolds are a prominent feature of Day of the Dead. Many believe these beautiful flowers help lost souls find their way home. Keep reading about the Day of the Dead in our past blog.
Many people in Mexico celebrate the week before Easter Sunday as Semana Santa. This holiday focuses on commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You’ll find many elaborate parades and ceremonies throughout the country.
Many people choose to attend large and elaborate church services during the week of Semana Santa. While more families can be found celebrating the holiday through food. Traditional Mexican food for this holiday includes pesinos, bunuelos de vineto, potato stew, and a host of fish dishes. You can dive deeper into Semana Santa traditions in our previous blog.
Celebrations for Carnival are found all over the world. The dates of this celebration move, but are always found before Lent. People in Mexico go all out for their Carnival celebrations. Many people dress up in elaborate costumes and masks, filling the streets to dance and celebrate. Veracruz is known for hosting the largest carnival in Mexico. The party begins by burning a figure representing bad moods, so the rest of the celebration is filled only with joy.
If you can’t attend the Carnival celebrations with your friends and family, sending gourmet gifts to Mexico to help them keep up their energy is much appreciated.
Dia de los Inocentes
Also known as the Day of the Innocents, this holiday has a dark history. Now though, December 28th has transformed into Mexico’s version of April Fool’s Day. You’ll find friends and family playing practical jokes on one another. You’ll even find some shops and media getting in on the fun!
Las Posadas and Christmas
In Mexico, Christmas celebrations begin with Las Posadas, starting on December 16th and lasting through December 24th. Las Posadas originated to commemorate Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. You’ll find celebrations, small and large, every night during Las Posadas. From intimate get-togethers in private homes to city-wide performances of pastorelas that represent the journey of the shepherds as they go to worship Jesus.
Posada songs, similar to Christmas carols, are sung all around Mexico. In the same vein as the pastorelas, these songs speak of the journey of Maray and Joseph.
On Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena, families gather for a special feast called Ronquete. Many families choose to enjoy their feast well into the night, and with a huge variety of food to enjoy, it may take the entire night to eat it all! From iconic tamales to rich empanadas, bold mole, and light bacalao (cod fish) each family has their own perfect combination of dishes that make up their Noche Buena.
Some families stay up till midnight to justify opening their Christmas gifts much earlier. While others choose to be a little more patient. However your friends and family celebrate, it’s ideal to send your Christmas gifts to Mexico early, as many couriers and delivery services are closed for the holiday.
In many parts of the world, New Year is the time to brace for a huge party. However, New Year’s Eve is a family affair in Mexico. If you plan to send your friends or colleagues a New Year’s gift to Mexico, take care to send a gift big enough so they can share it with their loved ones. Among all of the Mexican holidays and traditions, New Year may have some of the most unique.
For instance, women select their wardrobe for New Year’s Eve very carefully. Many believe the color of their underwear can help set the tone for the next year. Red is believed to bring them love, while yellow will encourage prosperity and happiness. White is for hope and peace, and green naturally is for financial wealth and good health.
You can find others taking a stroll on the streets with luggage. The hope is that this will bring lots of travel in the upcoming year.
Some families will splash a bucket of eater out of the window to symbolically get rid of the old year and welcome the New Year. Others choose to do a more in-depth cleaning.
Traditional Holiday Food and Drinks
Every country has its own staples that you can see during holidays and big celebrations. When it comes to Mexican holidays and traditions – the menu is large, the menu is delicious, and the menu is served family style! In fact, preparing the meal is often seen as part of the holiday or party itself. The family gets together in the kitchen to pass down treasured recipies. Extended family and friends that make it only for special events get to use this time to catch up with everyone at once.
While guests are not expected to help, it’s an honor to be invited into the kitchen to help cook. Naturally, this also means you get the first taste of all the enticing goodies emerging from the kitchen. The menu each family plans for special events tells a story of the people that came before them. You’ll find that many of the dishes are passed down from generation to generation. Even the cooking utensils may be family heirlooms!
Below is a quick peek at some of the most popular dishes served during Mexican holidays.
Birria – this dish is a labor of love. Made from goat or beef stewed in a rich broth featuring unique blends of chili peppers and other spices. If a family likes you enough to share their Birria recipe with you, know it’s an honor.
Tostadas – this dish is highly customizable. Made from a flat and fried corn tortilla and topped with a combination of beans, lettuce, cheese, meat, and more!
Tamales – this iconic Mexican dish is made from a corn dough that is then filled, usually with meat or vegetables, and steamed inside of a corn husk.
Mole – is a rich and flavorful sauce that takes days to fully develop its rich and complex flavor. Made with a combination of chili peppers, nuts, spices, and yes even chocolate! As the sauce simmers for days, you’ll find it is lovingly tended by someone expertly adjusting the flavor over many steps. How the sauce is made determines what it pairs with, but typically it goes well over chicken or turkey.
The list of traditional holiday foods in Mexico goes on from there. But all menus have one thing in common, and that’s the featured drink! Tequila and mezcal are the go-to party beverage in Mexico. Unlike many parts of the world, tequila and mezcal are often served as sipping drinks during special evens. Both beverages are made from the agave plant, and the flavors can vary widely depending on the distillation process. In general, mezcal is a smokier and more full-bodied flavor when compared to tequila.
How Are Birthdays Celebrated in Mexico
Birthdays in Mexico are like a mini holiday all on their own. Every birthday is an excuse to bring together friends, family, food, and fun! And surprising the lucky birthday person with a birthday present is an absolute must! While every birthday is a reason to celebrate, a person’s 3rd birthday is known to be extra large. A holdover from when infant mortality rates were alarmingly high, families still throw an extra big birthday bash when children reach 3.
At most children’s birthday parties, you’ll find pinatas full of candy and other surprises. However, at a 3rd birthday party, you’ll find that close family and godparents will give the child special gifts. These items are often keepsakes or investments into the child’s future.
For girls turning 15 a Quinceanera is held. This birthday party is a huge event. Often times families will rent out special venues or entire restaurants so they can host a large number of guests. The birthday girl and her family put a lot of effort into planning every detail of the party. They’ll even choreograph a number of dances, one for the daughter alone, one for the daughter with her father, and even a huge dance number with her friends.
Romance Traditions in Mexico
When it comes to falling in love, there are many ways to do it. However, if you want to follow the traditional romantic path in Mexico there’s a few things you should know:
Modern chivalry is alive and well – men in Mexico are still taught to open doors for women, pull out their chairs, and even walk on the outside of sidewalks. Men may make it a more obvious point to do all of these things for the person they have their eye on. These things are generally considered good manners, so you shouldn’t let these gestures alone convince you that someone is flirting with you.
Get ready for those sweet, sweet words – like pet names, piropos are flirty comments usually made to women to show your interest in them. These include popular romantic endearments like “mi amor” which means “my love.”
Yes, you should learn an instrument – as serenading your love isn’t just a thing of movies in Mexico. La serenata – is a practice where a suitor arrives to the home of their intended love armed with music. Don’t worry you don’t actually have to play an instrument, you can also sing while accompanied by a band. You should know that if the family doesn’t like you, they reserve the right to toss water on you.
Celebrating big romantic moments like Valentine’s Day and your anniversary are absolute musts in Mexico. In fact, sending your love small romantic gifts to Mexico is something that should be done regularly. Flowers are the most popular token of affection in Mexico.
Wrapping Up Mexican Holidays and Traditions
The holidays and traditions in Mexico are vast, and we encourage you to explore them! When you’re ready to send a gift to Mexico, we’re ready to help. Our catalog of gifts to Mexico is filled with local favorites that will delight them during any holiday or occasion. If you need any help selecting your gift, or answering a question, or customer service team is ready and waiting to help you 24/7.
The most important holiday tradition in Mexico, is spending time with your loved ones. So if you can’t be there in person, make time to get together on a call or even send an old fashioned letter!
You’ve learned about a number of Mexican holidays and traditions; now what?
- – Go ahead and surprise your friends and family in Mexico with a gift!
- – Learn how to bridge the gap when you’re far away from loved ones.
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A foodie, nerd, book lover, and eager taste tester. I’m a night owl with a need to expand my knowledge of other cultures and places to give myself better perspective.