Christmas is all about good feelings, reunions with family and friends, amazing dinners, bright lights, “posada” (typical Christmas party), piñatas, Christmas carols and good wishes. In every nock and since a long time, the magic of Christmas has been living in a special way in Mexico but, do you know the details about the origin of this holiday in our country? You'll be surprised!
Christmas is the most universal of the feasts, for which it seems that the years do not pass ... or yes. We celebrate it every year and every year we also carry out the same liturgy and the same customs, but this was not always the case. Everything has its origin and Christmas came to Mexico a long time ago and of course, it´s here to stay.
Today we carry out “posadas” (typical Christmas Party) and pastorelas (Sheperd´s play), insignias of the ancestral Mexican personality and that helps to create bonds with family and friends. In its origin these have a pre-Hispanic component that was born with the fusion of two cultures, the indigenous and the Spanish colonizer with the arrival of these to New Spain.
Unknown aspects of Mexican Christmas.
- The historical documents that picture the 1st Christmas in America date from December 25, 1492 with the celebration of "La Hispaniola" in Haiti and Dominican Republic but a few years later, already in the sixteenth century it would reach Mexico.
- The first real Mexican Christmas was, according to historical chronicles, in 1526 and is named as the protagonist of the Franciscan missionary, Fray Pedro de Gante who came to write to the King of Spain, Carlos V about this celebration with the Indigenous in Mexico.
- When the Spaniards arrived they wanted to help with the conversion of the natives who were celebrating a winter party named Huitzilopochtli in commemoration of the birth of the God of War. This coincided with Spanish and European Christmas.
- For years both traditions came together to bring a better coexistence although by royal order Christmas is introduced as an important act in the process of evangelization of the new world by transforming the customs of the locals.
- The native´s mantles were painted with Christmas themes and they began to teach Spanish carols to the children, even changing some indigenous songs for verses in honor of God, peace and Christmas.
- Now those are a tradition but the piñatas and the pastorelas (Sheperd´s plays) were introduced by the Spanish evangelizers and the most religious character of this festivity that had before in Spain.
- Now a days and given the proximity of Mexico with the USA, Santa Claus has become more important when decorating and sharing gifts, for centuries and as the Spaniards carry out the gifts on these dates, also in Mexico they share the presents the Three Kings Day, January 6.
- Even the Christmas dinner was unknown by the inhabitants of Mexico at that time, and increasingly has been becoming more important to this days.