What Are Some Mexican Holiday Traditions?


Quick Answer

Some Mexican holiday traditions include the famous pinata game, creating pathways of light and displaying poinsettias. In Mexico, poinsettias, also known as la flor de nochebuena (holy night flower) are everywhere at Christmas, including as part of Christian nativity processions. The flower was named after Joel Poinsett, the first ambassador to the new Republic of Mexico.

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What Are Some Mexican Holiday Traditions?
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Full Answer

The cultivation of poinsettias in Mexico has been traced back as far as the Aztecs, who used it in dyes and medicines and considered it a symbol of purity.

Another Mexican holiday tradition with Aztec roots is the practice of posadas. Similar to carol singing in many other countries, posadas take place in the lead-up to Christmas and involve a group walking from house to house singing and symbolically asking for shelter. When the singing ends, everybody opens their doors and enjoys a communal feast, featuring foods like tamales and ponche.

The Mexican holiday tradition of pathways marked by light is referred to as "las luminarias" or "los farolitos." The custom involves placing candles into sand-filled paper bags and lining the edges of pathways with them. It originated with the 16th-century practice of lighting fires in churchyards to signal the direction for midnight mass.

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