Presentation on theme: "Christmas Season in Mexico"— Presentation transcript:
1 Christmas Season in Mexico December 12 – February 2
2 December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe Many people create altars to MaryMany people make pilgrimages to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City (the image is kept here)Fire crackers set off all around Mexico at the end of the day.
3 The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe In 1591 a dark-skinned woman (Mary) surrounded by a light appeared to a native american man in Mexico. She requested that a church be built to honor her in the spot where she stood. She said that anyone who sought her assistance and compassion would find it here.As proof of their meeting, the man took roses (uncharacteristic for the cold season) arranged by this woman to the bishop. When the man showed the cloth that held the roses, an image of the woman appeared on the cloth.The cloth is housed at the Basilica that has been erected in Mexico City – where the woman asked for a church. It has survived the years despite the poor quality of the cloth and the numerous disasters that it has seen (floods, etc)
4 Las Posadas (Lodgings / Inns) December 16 - 24 On December 16th, los nacimientos are put up in homes in Mexico – they do not yet include the baby Jesus or the three kingsIn each village / neighborhood people gather in the evenings to re-enact the journey of Mary and Joseph finding a place to stay in Bethlehem.Each night adults and children process through the neighborhood stopping at different houses and asking (in song) for a place to stay.The owners of the houses respond (in song) that there is no room until the peregrinos (the pilgrims) finally reach the last house where they are invited in.Everyone prays around the nativity scene (usually the rosary)There is a party afterwards – tamales, churros y chocolate, pinatas, Christmas carols
5 Las Pastorelas During the Christmas Season These are comedic theatrical performances in which shepherds – trying to follow the star to Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus – are met with many trials and tribulations set before them by the devil.These plays can be performed by professional actors or by amateursThey can be seen in Theaters or in town squares and churches
6 La Flor de Noche Buena During the Christmas Season The flower that we know as the Pointsettia is native to MexicoIt was brought to the United States in 1823 by the 1st US embassador to Mexico: Joel Robers PointsettThe legend of the Pointsettia is a common Christmas story in Mexico
7 La Noche Buena December 24 Baby Jesus is added to the nativity scenesThis is the last day of Las PosadasPeople go to midnight mass “Misa de Gallo”Big family dinner after massAdults may exchange gifts
8 Christmas Day December 25 Traditionally a day for resting and staying with familyRecently, Santa Claus has been leaving some gifts for children, but January 6th is the main gift-exchange day.
9 El Día de los Inocentes December 28 Like April Fool’s day – people play good-natured tricks on each otherDo not believe anything someone tells you or lend any amount of money“Inocente Palomita” is the equivalent of saying “April Fools!” – translates into “Innocent little dove”Even newspapers and news broadcasts will sometimes put a fake story in with all of the others
10 La Noche vieja December 31 Large dinner with family (bacalao (salt cod) is traditional dish)People may go out after dinnerHuge street festival in Mexico CityFireworks / sparklers / lots of noise at midnight12 grapes at midnight for good luck in the new yearOther Mexican superstitions surrounding the new year:For luck in love: wear red underwearFor luck in money: wear yellowIf you are hoping to travel in the new year, take out a piece of luggage and walk it around the block
11 El ano nuevo January 1Parades, Festivals and Fairs are available for those who are not resting from the night before, but this is usually a pretty calm day for people who were up very late.Leftovers from New Years Eve dinner are enjoyed by families who are gathering again at someone’s house to enjoy some more time together
12 Letters to the 3 Kings In the days before January 6 In the first week of January, children will write letters to the 3 kings.Letters should include how good the children have been, how they intend to be better in the coming year, and what they would like as giftsFamilies usually go to the town square / park and send the lettersLetters are sent in balloons – and the letters are often set on fire because the 3 kings are very wise and can read smoke.
13 Eve of Día de los Reyes January 5 Figures of the three kings are placed in the nativity scenes todayTraditionally, children would leave their shoes out with hay in them (for the camels) and presents would be left by the 3 kings in their shoes.More recently, the 3 kings leave the presents under the Christmas tree.
14 El Día de los Reyes January 6 Children wake to find gifts from the three kingsFamilies share “La rosca de reyes” – often with hot chocolate and tamalesThe person who finds the nino diós in his/her piece of bread is responsible for hosting the celebration to come on Feb. 2nd.
15 El día de candeleria February 2 This is the official last day of the Christmas seasonPeople take the baby Jesus from the nativity scene to church to be blessed – often, people will have them restored / painted / dressed nicely before this dayPut away the nativity scenes until next yearA party is given by the person who found the plastic baby Jesus in the Rosca de Reyes on January 6th.