In Mexico, a country whose population is predominantly Catholic, Christmas is celebrated in grand style. The festivities kick off on December 16th, when posadas begin. Posadas are simply Christmas parties and they are held each night, until Christmas Eve. One evening, you might host a posada in your home and then, the next night you attend a posada at the home of another family member or friend, and so on, until Christmas Eve. Sometimes, candlelight processions travel from posada to posada. The posadas and the processions, symbolize Mary and Joseph’s journey from inn to inn, in search of shelter in Bethlehem.
On Christmas Eve, known as Noche Buena, in Mexico, families gather together and have a big meal around midnight, and then they open gifts. Children get some gifts on Christmas but they get most of their gifts in January, on Three Kings Day. The celebration often goes on until the wee hours of the night, or even later. Some of the traditional foods served at the holiday dinners are romeritos, bacalao, tamales, turkey, and pork dishes. Christmas Day is a quiet day, spent with family, but the big celebrations are over until New Year’s Eve, when families get together again, to ring in the new year.