Afterwards, we all enjoy the delicious food prepared: tamales, buñuelos – sweet fritters- churros and chocolate caliente -hot chocolate.
During the Christmas season, there are Pastorelas, which are theatrical representations of the shepherds on their way to honor baby Jesus. They must follow the star in the East to get there, but there will be many obstacles, set by the devils, for them to overcome. The pastorelas are comedies of course, and display a traditional sense of humor. Sometimes the characters even get to deliver political jokes, which the audience obviously enjoys!
Although the custom of putting up a Christmas tree has become very popular, the real Mexican tradition consists of setting up a nativity scene.
These scenes are set up on December 16, but the figure of the Baby Jesus is not put into the manger until December 24, and the Three Kings are added on January 5.
Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena as it is called in Mexico, is celebrated on December 24. This is an essentially family day, which begins with the last posada and ends with a delicious, sumptuous dinner. At midnight there are masses that are called Misa de Gallo. After dinner adults exchange presents.
On December 25, children wake up early, to find under the tree the gifts they asked Santa Claus for.
This is a relatively new, (some 50 years old ) addition to our Christmas season. Before, gifts were only exchanged on January 6, Dia de los Reyes Magos.
Los Reyes Magos
All Mexican children anxiously wait January 5, because this is when the Three Kings, Los Reyes Magos, arrive with gifts for them! A few days before, the children write their letters asking the Kings for the toys they want the most.
Accompanied by their family, they go to the town’s plaza or zócalo, to send their letters, attached to multicolored balloons that float up, taking their dreams with them.